View and share this e-newsletter from Paul W. Hamann, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Night Ministry, a non-profit providing housing, health care, and human connection to Chicago community members struggling with poverty or homelessness.

October 2017
2017 Outreach & Health Ministry Survey
The Night Ministry's Mission Fulfillment Team has released the results of the 2017 Outreach and Health Ministry Survey, its fifth annual. Volunteers administered surveys in both English and Spanish to 333 guests at five Health Outreach Bus Stops in late April.

The Health Outreach Bus brings free medical services, HIV testing, food, referrals, and a sense of community to homeless and medically vulnerable individuals. The Bus serves the Back of the Yards, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Pilsen, South Shore, and Uptown neighborhoods of Chicago.

Keep reading below for some key findings.

The meals provided at The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus are the only food that many visitors have had that day.
Health Care, Housing, and Hunger

Of the neighborhoods surveyed, Pilsen demonstrated the highest need for medical care. Bus visitors in Pilsen were least likely to have a regular place to go for health care and more likely to go to the emergency room if the Bus was not available to them. Overall, 65% of guests in Pilsen saw the Nurse Practitioner in the past year, the highest percentage among all surveyed neighborhoods.

The rate of homelessness in Pilsen was substantially higher than in other neighborhoods as well. And housing stability is a high need in the South Shore neighborhood, where the highest percentage of guests reported being unstably housed.

Hunger remains a big issue for Bus visitors. More than 20% reported not having eaten anything before coming to the Bus, while nearly half said they had eaten that day but had not had enough food.

Awareness and Use of Services

Bus visitors were asked what services they are aware of and which ones they had accessed over the past year. Gregory Gross, Director of Mission Fulfillment at The Night Ministry, said the gap between awareness and use was much greater for HIV testing than other services on the Bus. 

" This tells us that knowing about HIV testing isn't enough for guests to get an HIV test.To overcome barriers related to stigma and misconceptions related to who is at risk of contracting HIV, we'll have to do more education to decrease the gap between awareness and use," he said.

Feedback from Bus Guests

For the first time, Night Ministry staff took the survey results back to Bus guests to get their impressions. Gross said this resulted in rich conversations.  "We ask about housing stability, which was quite high in most of the neighborhoods, and this led to conversations with guests who would share more about this, such as 'Yes, my housing is stable. I've lived there for six years; however, I wouldn't say it is adequate housing.' This process gave us ideas about how we might better ask some questions on the survey."

Moving Forward

Gross said the results of the survey have prompted great discussions within The Night Ministry. "Outreach and Health Ministry staff will be continuing these conversations over the next year in regards to how to best serve the guests at the Health Outreach Bus," he said.

The Night Ministry's Impact

The Night Ministry provided services to more than 5,300 people through the Health Outreach Bus and our other programs in FY17.

Click here to find out more about The Night Ministry's impact last year.

Giving Tuesday 
Did you know that guests at The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus help us set up when we pull up to our sto ps? Or that residents of our Youth Housing Programs actively volunt eer in the community?

This Giving Tuesday, be inspired by the generosity of those we serve and support The Night Ministry. Watch your inbox, check our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for more as November 28 approaches.
Night Lights

Join The Night Ministry's Associate Board on Thursday, November 9 from 6 to 9 pm for Night Lights, an evening of fun and philanthropy benefiting The Night Ministry at River Roast in Chicago.

The evening includes drinks and appetizers, a silent auction, a wine toss, and mingling with local philanthropists. Tickets are $75 in advance and can be purchased here.

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