The mission of San Francisco Night Ministry (SFNM) is to increase access to spiritual care and community – at night, on the streets, and on the phones. We meet people where they are, physically and spiritually, particularly the most marginalized among us. We do not judge or convert. We enact our mission in four areas.
First is our nighttime street ministry. For over 55 years, our night ministers have walked San Francisco streets every night from 10PM – 4AM providing a ministry of presence and care, referral services, and basic needs. Night ministers offer chaplaincy to anyone and everyone in the nighttime hours – from unhoused folks living outside to people in bars, coffee shops, and transit depots to nighttime service workers.
Second is our nightly telephone Care Line. Our trained volunteer telephone counselors speak with people in chronic and acute crisis from 8PM - 4AM PST (844-HOPE-4-SF). Our phone line is unique. We explicitly tend to spiritual needs, and we have no topic limits. Plus, we can dispatch the on duty night minister to any location in the city. Many of our homeless callers use government-provided cell phones to call our Care Line. A significant number of our callers struggle with mental health. In addition to callers who are traumatized, suicidal, or abused, we speak with many people who are simply lonely and desire human connection. We understand that spiritual health is essential to human wholeness and flourishing.
Third, we invite people into spiritually-accessible community programs. Many of our congregants would not feel comfortable or welcome in traditional houses of worship. Our community programs include a twice weekly Christian worship service held on the streets called Open Cathedral (one of which is bilingual Spanish), a weekly Buddhist Meditation Group, a weekly Tuesday Gathering spiritual study, and a LGBTQA Outreach. Some of our callers on the Care Line attend our Open Cathedrals and Tuesday Gathering.
Finally, we educate seminarians and emerging spiritual care leaders in our Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training program. In 2017, the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (www.acpe.edu) fully accredited our CPE program.
The mission of San Francisco Night Ministry (SFNM) is to increase access to spiritual care and community – at night, on the streets, and on the phones. We meet people where they are, physically and spiritually, particularly the most marginalized…