As temperatures plunged to -16 degrees and wind chills bottomed out at -42 degrees this week, The Night Ministry responded to make sure that street-based youth and adults we serve found shelter and warmth.
The Crib, our overnight emergency shelter for young adults ages 18 - 24, was staffed and open around-the-clock from Saturday, January 4 at 9 PM until 9 AM on Wednesday, January 8. The Crib operated during daytime hours with the assistance of our Youth Outreach Team, interns and volunteers as well as many of The Crib's staff who are working hard to make sure the community has a safe, warm place to sleep. Thanks to the support of all these people, our partners at LakeView Lutheran Church (the church that houses The Crib), and the City of Chicago's Department of Family and Support Services, we have not had to turn anyone away at The Crib.
On Sunday, January 5 , Health Outreach Professional Kim Ziyavo and HIV Testing Coordinator David Wywialowski packed a car and traveled the streets providing outreach to people who were sleeping on the streets. They met eight people on the street Sunday night and provided them with blankets, hats, gloves, information on warming centers and how to access shelter services. The Health Outreach Team traveled in their cars on Monday night targeting the neighborhoods they regularly serve and focusing their efforts on people they saw who were sleeping on the streets and under viaducts.
Our efforts to keep Chicago warm were bolstered by a last minute shipment of winter coats from Operation Warm. We received the coats on Friday, January 3 and distributed them in our shelters and on the streets throughout the cold weather emergency.
The expansion of our services received media coverage on WBEZ and was mentioned during the Mayor's Press Conference. Your support allows us to be present and on-the-ground when Chicago's most vulnerable need The Night Ministry's services the most! Thank you!