1031 Franklin St. San Francisco CA 94109
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Crisis Line phone: 415-441-0123
Office phone: 415-935-7862

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50thSan Francisco Night Ministry 50th Anniversary Grand Festivities
On November 16, 2014, a festive and innovative Commemoration Service of Thanksgiving featured author Anne Lamott as guest speaker. Choral ensemble Volti offered musical accompaniment and the interpretive dance group Wing It filled Grace Cathedral expressing gratitude for 50 years of this unique ministry.

Congregants of Open Cathedral -- Civic Center, almost all of whom are homeless, were bussed up to Grace for the service. They weren't mere spectators. Rather, they  blessed the Night Ministers who care for them, and then those Ministers blessed the Bishops and other higher-ups in attendance. This was a nice reversal to the usual top-down order of such blessings.  The congregation was also blessed.

Author Anne Lamott spoke to the three themes structuring the program: Chaos, Night Shift, and Dawn. To symbolize the Night Ministry's motto, "Lighten the darkness, rekindle the hope," everyone sang, "This Little Light of Mine" and turned on mini flashlights that they received.  Read Anne Lamott's words.

At the banquet at Delancey Street, proclamations and good wishes were shared including a proclamation by San Francisco Mayer Ed Lee of Night Ministry Day in San Francisco, a congratulatory letter from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and a proclamation from the California State Senate from State Sen. Mark Leno.

Listen to the Voices of Night Ministers and Volunteers

It takes a special kind of person to want to work with people who are needy or in crisis in the middle of the night. It takes courage, creativity and conviction to carry a ministry of listening love and pastoral presence into the night, onto the streets, and even to the earpiece of a telephone. Night Ministry attracts many special people to work as ministers and volunteers listening and responding from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. every night of the year.

Yale PhD student Joey Plaster has conducted oral history interviews with nine key staffers to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Night Ministry. These audio profiles offer insights into what these special Night Ministers and volunteer Crisis Line Counselors do and how they feel about their work on the phone and walking the streets. To learn more about Joey Plaster, click here.

The. Rev. Lyle Beckman is The Night Minister, serving as Director of Night Ministry from 2007 to the present. He is a priest of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Rev. Don Fox is an Episcopal priest, served at The Night Minister in charge from 1995 to 2007. He continues to contribute his abundance of ministerial experience walking out monthly as an Assistant Night Minister and stands in for Lyle, as needed.

The Rev. Chuck Lewis of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has been with the Night Ministry ever since its beginning in 1964. After serving as Assistant Night Minister to founder, The Rev. Don Stuart for 12 years, Chuck became The Night Minister from 1976 to 1996, totaling 32 years of active involvement and leadership. He still contributes his time and talents. Read more about him here.

Gordon is the Crisis Line Counselor who has served longest.

Joanne Chadwick served as Volunteer Coordinator for Night Ministry at the very beginning of the organization, 50 years ago and continues to volunteer, currently Co-Chairing our 50th Anniversary Committee.

John, a musician by profession, has brought a keen attentiveness to his 13 years of listening as a Crisis Line Counselor.

Brother Jude Hill is a Franciscan Friar, an Episcopal priest, and the coordinator of Night Ministry's Crisis Line Counselors.

The Rev. Monique Ortiz, UCC, is an Associate Night Minister who conducts services at our Open Cathedral.<

The Rev. Vicki Gray is an Episcopal deacon, a transgender woman, an author, and a self-described "Troublemaker" (as she titled her book) who advocates for social justice and brings a particular empathy to her work as Assistant Night Minister.

About San Francisco Night Ministry

The Night Ministry provides crisis intervention, counseling and referral services every night of the year. Since 1964, we haven’t missed one night in 50 years.


And we do this every night, rain or shine, whether it’s a holiday or not, between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. We staff a crisis telephone line and support night ministers who literally walk the streets of San Francisco offering face-to-face conversations to those who are lonely, anxious and afraid in the middle of the night, when crises are most acute and when social services don’t readily exist. There are about 14 crisis lines in San Francisco, but we are the only one who will talk with anyone about anything – there is no specialized group of persons or problems that we address.  And we are the only one who, if someone then wants a face-to-face conversation, can make that happen. So we are unique in that way.

In addition, the Night Ministry sponsors two Open Cathedrals. They are outdoor worship services -- one in the Tenderloin and one in the Mission. They are weekly worship services followed by a time of sharing food. We provide meals and we also offer an opportunity for conversation and prayer and crisis intervention. We have a wellness program, a community-building program to extend our outreach to many more people in need. We believe that our work helps to make San Francisco a city that is healthier, safer, and more stable for all who live and work here.

We help to bridge the gap between the times when social services are offered. We offer to build healthy life-affirming communities and neighborhoods. We offer companionship to those who are lonely and isolated. We attend to the mental and physical needs of those who are compromised. We provide harm reduction for those at risk to themselves and others. And we encounter and assist many of the most vulnerable, who fall between the cracks, even of our very fine social services.

On average, we engage in over twenty thousand substantive conversations every year. We serve over ten thousand meals. And we provide hundreds of emergency interventions. San Francisco Night Ministry offers informational and educational events as well. We have field workers, and interns, and a wide variety of people who learn our model of ministry so that their ministries can be enhanced. 

We receive no public funding, and we don’t charge anyone for any of our services. Thankfully, we are not alone. We are grateful to our supporters for partnering with us with financial contributions and with gifts of time and talent. We look to remain faithful to our calling to those whom we serve and for those who support us and send us out each night.

Night Ministry is incorporated under the laws of the State of California and is described in the Internal Revenue Code 501 [c][3] as a not-for-profit organization.  Our Employer Identification number is 94-3122524.

In the early 1960's, the Summer of Love was a future happening, and lyricist John Phillips had not quite yet written the words, "if you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair" thus inspiring thousands of young people to flock to San Francisco. Yet the streets of our city were already filling up with young runaways, gay refugees, and a burgeoning population of newly arriving rootless people of all stripes.

This trend of rootless people on the street, some homeless, and some turning to drugs and prostitution, did not go unobserved by the Protestant denominations of the city.  Seven members of the interdenominational Council of Churches got together to sponsor an experimental ministry to reach out to "street people" at night, when the only social services available were police, fire and ambulance.  They placed ads to attract a pastor to minister to these "night people."

In 1990 Night Ministry became an independent not-for-profit organization with its own Governing Board and new charter, constitution and mission statement.


Night Ministers

Valerie McEntee

Sep 9, 2018 - present

The Rev. Valerie McEntee
United Church of Christ

Lyle Beckman

Jan 1, 2007 – Aug 31, 2018

The Rev. Lyle J. Beckman
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Don Fox

Nov 15, 1995 – Dec 31, 2006

The Rev. Donald A. Fox
Episcopal Church, USA

Chuck Lewis

Aug 1, 1976 – Jan 10, 1996

The Rev. Charles H. Lewis
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Don Stuart

Sep 1, 1964 – Jul 31, 1976

The Rev. Donald E. Stuart
United Church of Christ


Video - Shepherd of the Streets

The Rev. Donald Stuart's Obituary

NIGHT MINISTER - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
MINISTER OF SACRED SPACES - Brother Karekin Yarian


Listen to the Voices of Night Ministers and Volunteers

The Rev. Daniel Borysewicz
Metropolitan Community Church
Chaplain Adam Briones
Interfaith Minister / Rabbinical student
The Rev. Donald A. Fox
The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Bernhardt Fricke
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. Thom Longino
United Church of Christ
The Rev. Thomas Muller
Swedenborgian Church
The Rev. Andreas Pielhoop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. Megan Rohrer
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. David Stickley
The Episcopal Church


The Rev. Victoria Gray
The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Nancy Pennekamp
The Episcopal Church

Mr. Bruce Pettit,

Night Ministry Associate
Br. Karekin Yarian
Office Manager

John Cumming, President
The Rev. Rebekah (Bekah) Davis, Vice President
Lorna Hill, Secretary
Chris Calandro, Treasurer
Larry Dannenberg
James Elerick
Rod Seeger

PJ Handeland
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus
Jody Jahn
The Rev. Mark Holmerud
Roy Mosley
The Rev. Michael Pappas
Brother Jude Hill, s.s.f
Garry McLain (Empress Marlena)
Night Ministry Staff

OFFICE PHONE: 415-935-7862
CRISIS LINE PHONE: 415-441-0123
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






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