STEPS Transitional Living Program
Unstable housing presents many challenges for young people who are attempting to complete their education and set career goals. The Night Ministry's STEPS (Successful Transitions Effectively Preparing for Self Sufficiency) Program provides long-term housing and intensive life skills coaching to young people ages 18-21 who have graduated from one of The Night Ministry's other youth programs.
Below are the stories of three youth who have made great strides towards achieving housing stability.
Joanne* was in high school when her widowed father could no longer provide her with stable housing due to financial difficulties. She spent more than a year staying with friends. The instability in her housing resulted in poor grades. A school counselor referred her to The Night Ministry's Interim Program, which provides up to 120 days of shelter and programming to youth. She is now a resident of our two-year STEPS transitional living program. Once she was stably housed and working with one of The Night Ministry's Case Managers, Joanne earned straight A's. She has a part-time job, is saving most of her income, will be finishing school this year, and plans to pursue her dream career of flying drones for the United States Air Force upon her graduation.
"I know this isn't my forever home, but I know for sure that I have a place to lay my head while I finish school," Joanne said.
Todd* was 14 years old when he and his mother were evicted from their home due to financial difficulties. Like Joanne, a school counselor referred him to The Night Ministry's 120-day Interim Program.Thanks to stable housing, he was able to improve his grades. He transitioned into The Night Ministry's two-year transitional housing program, STEPS. He is on track to graduate high school in 2016. He has an internship at his school in addition to holding down a part-time job. He plans to join the Marines after he graduates high school. He also wants to go to college for engineering or medicine.
"I'm trying to do something better with my life so I won't wind up homeless again," Todd said.
Jenny* was evicted from her apartment after she and her roommate both lost their jobs. She spent six months staying with friends before she found The Night Ministry's Interim Program through word of mouth. While stably housed, Jenny was able to realize what she wants to do with her life: open her own bakery called Casu. Her bakery will specialize in Peruvian pastries.
While living at the Interim Program, she obtained her food sanitation license. Once she transitioned into STEPS, she got an internship at a local bakery and is preparing to enroll in food management courses this fall.
"Thanks to The Night Ministry, I've gotten stability. The point of this is to create dependency on yourself, not the program," Jenny said.
nce a week, Amanda, a resident of Chicago, volunteers her time to teach STEPS residents a visual literacy class. Her lessons vary from photography, cooking, literature, and other art forms to help STEPS residents improve their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
"They are intelligent, kind, thoughtful, and honestly a lot of fun. Sometimes I feel they bring me more than I bring them, which just keeps me working harder to make the course engaging enough," Amanda said.
| Thank you for your support!
Joanne, Todd, and Jenny are just three of the eight residents in the program. The Night Ministry is excited to share their successes, as well as showcase one of our amazing volunteers.
Thank you to those of you who contribute funds to make this and all our programs possible! Make your tax-deductible contribution
If you are interested in volunteering to work with our youth, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Pseudonyms are being used to protect the youths' privacy.
When: Monday, Jan. 25
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Lagunitas Brewing Company, 2607 W. 17th St.
Come see the cast of Mortified read their diaries aloud! A portion of the proceeds from the February 13th shows goes to The Night Ministry.
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 13
TIME: 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (doors open half an hour earlier than showtime.)
VENUE: Mayne Stage, 1330 W. Morse Ave.
TICKETS: $25 can be purchased here.
Revolution Brewing Fundraiser
Save the date! The Night Ministry's Associate Board is organizing this fundraiser.
When: Tuesday, May 24
Where: Revolution Brewing,
2323 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Details about tickets to come!
40th Anniversary Lighting Up the Night Benefit
What: 40th Anniversary Benefit and Lighting Up the Night Benefit
When: June 1st at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park Dr.
For more information, please contact email@example.com
Tour The Night Ministry's programs at a Van Tour! Visit one of our youth shelter programs and one of our Health Outreach Bus stops. Youth ages 13-20 may attend as well!
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Open Door West Town Shelter
Dates: Tuesday, March 8
Wednesday, April 6
Tuesday, June 21
Tuesday, July 1
Reserve your spot! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name, phone number, e-mail address and date preference.