Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-03-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Night Ministry group seeks to empower homeless youth
by Molly Sprayregen

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Last February, Candace Musick—youth development manager for The Night Ministry, which offers services to the homeless in Chicago—held a focus group at the Home Run Inn pizza restaurant in Lake View.

The group, composed of homeless and formerly homeless Chicago youth, had come together to brainstorm the best way to create a unified youth leadership team that integrated young people from all of the Night Ministry's youth programs and worked to elevate youth voices.

The result: Youth 4 Truth, a 10-week leadership program during which the 16 young people selected to participate build professional development skills, offer ideas on improving the Night Ministry's services, raise awareness about youth homelessness and, most importantly to those involved according to Musick, do what they can to "leave a legacy" for the next generation of homeless young people that come to Chicago looking for community and support.

While the young people who participate in Youth 4 Truth are compensated, Musick emphasized her surprise that money has not been a priority for many of them. "They want to give back," said Musick, "They know what it's like, they're still in it, they know what they've experienced before they got to the Night Ministry and they want to be able to make the path easier and better for the young people that come after them, not only within the agency but also within the city of Chicago."

Young people between the ages of 14 and 25 who utilize any of the Night Ministry's youth services are eligible to apply for a 10-week Youth 4 Truth cohort. Because the Night Ministry provides care for both those who are currently homeless as well as aftercare for those who have found housing, Musick said Youth 4 Truth is a fantastic way to bring together a variety of perspectives.

The inaugural Youth 4 Truth cohort decided to focus their 10 weeks on creating a resource guide for homeless youth that are new to Chicago. The city has become a type of hub for homeless midwestern young people, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+. Musick explained that when many of the Youth 4 Truth members arrived in the city, they didn't know where to go or what sort of spaces were safe. So the group set out to create the resource guide they wished they could have been handed upon their arrival in the city.

Subsequent Youth 4 Truth cohorts have continued this work on the resource guide and have also devoted themselves to other tasks. In a recent meeting, Youth 4 Truth member Broderick Hill worked with staff members on creating new consequence structures for The Crib, one of the Night Ministry's overnight shelters. Determined to make The Crib feel as safe as possible for everyone, he worked diligently to create a clear, precisely worded list of rules and what will happen if they're broken.

Hill has really enjoyed his time in Youth 4 Truth. He loves that he gets to help people around his age who can relate to him. "Spreading information to people in my age group is vital," he says. He loves the opportunity to be a resource for them.

"[The young people] are super excited about leadership and advocacy and they take their roles really seriously," explained Musick. "They call themselves youth leaders in the space and they like to take charge in their different house meetings or different group settings and like to help staff get things done."

Musick has loved watching the young people involved in Youth 4 Truth grow in confidence and begin taking more initiative in their individual Night Ministry programs, but the effect has gone beyond the Night Ministry, itself. Youth 4 Truth has partnered with One Northside, whose youth organizer, Anna Mangahas, teaches professional development skills to the group. This partnership has encouraged many youth leaders to get more involved in advocacy. Some now attend One Northside meetings on their own. Two Youth 4 Truth members are even on the youth leadership board for the National Network for Youth. These two leaders get the opportunity to travel around the country to advocate for homeless youth, and they also participate in bimonthly conference calls.

Youth 4 Truth has continued to grow in scope, and Musick's main wish is that it continues doing so. She wants youth involved in as many aspects of the Night Ministry as possible, and she also hopes to plan a trip to Washington, D.C., to give Youth 4 Truth members an opportunity to meet with political leaders. ( They already take trips to Springfield. ) All of her hopes center around making the young people feel more empowered.

"I think the possibilities are endless," she said. "They're just so creative and energized and motivated and amazing."

*Note: Molly Sprayregen is planning to begin volunteering with the Night Ministry soon.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SAGE Condemns Erasure of Lesbian and Bi Women by HHS 2018-03-22 - [New York, NY] In what is becoming a trend, the Trump administration is once again trying to make LGBT people invisible. The administration ...

Gay News

More Anti-LGBTQ Talk from Ben Carson shows discriminatory stance 2018-03-22 - Washington, DC —When questioned about a decision to remove HUD training materials involving equal access for transgender homeless people during a congressional committee ...

Gay News

Chicago March Among 800+ Globally Following the Douglas High School Shooting 2018-03-22 - CHICAGO—March 21, 2018— Students organizing the Chicago "March For Our Lies" event on March 24th today announced programming and media logistics information for ...

Gay News

Gun-control activists meet with Pfleger 2018-03-21 - A group of gun-control activists—including outspoken Parkland, Florida, survivor Emma Gonzalez, an out bisexual—met with Chicago's Father Michael Pfleger at Saint Sabina church, ...

Gay News

Nominations sought for 30 Under 30 Awards 2018-03-20 - Windy City Times is seeking to recognize 30 more outstanding LGBT individuals ( and allies ) for its annual 30 Under 30 Awards. ...

Gay News

Quigley Presses HUD Sec. Carson on LGBTQ Housing, Invites Him to Meet Chicago Advocates 2018-03-20 - WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley ( IL-05 ), who serves on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development ( THUD ) Appropriations ...

Gay News

Carson Admits He's Ignoring Protections for LGBTQ People in Homeless Shelters 2018-03-20 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) criticized Secretary Ben Carson's shameful admission that the Department of Housing and Urban ...

Gay News

Cecile Richards, Tarana Burke, Dreamers to Receive Civil and Human Rights Community's Highest Honor 2018-03-20 - WASHINGTON — The past year has marked a pivotal point in America's civil rights history, with women's rights, racial justice, and immigration occupying ...

Gay News

Leaked memo shows that HUD plans to remove anti-discrimination language 2018-03-15 - Washington, DC — Just days after People For the American Way filed suit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the ...

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Illinois Must Protect LGBT Elders from Housing Discrimination 2018-03-14 - Many older people who move into a residential care facility may feel a bit hopeless or unmoored as they adjust to a new ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.