Camping can be a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. But imagine if sleeping outdoors was not a choice. That’s a situation faced by thousands of Chicagoan’s every year.
More than 80,000 individuals, adults and children experience homelessness a year in Chicago. Some of them will have a temporary place to lay their head overnight – in a hotel or on the couch of a friend or a relative – while many others are staying in places not meant for habitation such as a car, an abandoned building, a park, or literally on the streets.
For each and every one of these individuals, homelessness did not just happen. It is the result of a web of social, systemic, and personal factors including, but not limited to, housing affordability, discrimination, physical health, job insecurity, and sexual orientation.
Penserra has been partnering with Chicago-based nonprofit The Night Ministry to provide essential supplies and support to Chicago’s homeless population, including tents. The supplies are distributed by The Night Ministry’s Street Medicine Team, a unique program that brings health care, food, and survival items directly to individuals who have the most difficulty accessing traditional medical and social services.
George Martin, Penserra Senior Vice President, volunteers with the Street Medicine Team, accompanying them as they visit individuals in encampments, under viaducts, and on street corners across Chicago and connecting with the clients The Night Ministry serves while distributing food, clothing such as socks and underwear, and other essential items. George has been responsible for generating the in-kind and financial support that Penserra provides to The Night Ministry.
“While it is rare that I can truly capture in words exactly what the organization’s services mean for our clients,” says George, “I do assure my colleagues of the extraordinary work The Night Ministry is doing on the streets of Chicago every day.”
For more information about The Night Ministry, visit www.thenightministry.org.