San Francisco

Night Ministry

Rekindling Hope In Dark Times

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The San Francisco Night Ministry helps our neighbors in great need, when their needs will not be otherwise met in the nighttime hours, and we assist them as we are able in maintaining community at all times.

We rekindle hope together.


Lasting change includes tending to the human spirit.

Years Since 1964

Continuous Nights

Beloved City


Who can you call during a late night crisis? The only in-person services available are police, fire, ambulance . . . and the SF Night Ministry. Our trained phone volunteers counsel the desperate. Night ministers are dispatched to meet people in coffee shops, bars, SROs, and on the streets.

We meet the most marginalized in their most vulnerable hours.


We cherish our common humanity. We do not judge or proselytize. We believe loving attention is the most precious gift one person can give to another. We value the healing power of sacred presence.

We honor dignity by responding to how each person makes meaning for themselves.

The Collar

Our night ministers come from many spiritual traditions. Each minister and student wears whatever works best for their outreach of compassion. Many like the collar because it is easily recognizable. Others wear the robes or symbols of their tradition, or simply a name tag.

Not what you may think.


We live our values in three main areas of service: connection, community, and cultivation. We connect with people and bring them into community. We cultivate emerging leaders.

Even a few minutes of connection can offer hope.


We connect people to their inherent worth, to each other, and to their sense of the Ultimate. Learn about the Night Ministers and phone counselors.


We create community through spiritually-centered programs. Learn about Open Cathedral, Meditation Group, Sacred Space, and more.


We cultivate leaders in the ministry of presence and deep listening. Learn about our accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program.


In 2018, we had 12,369 significant spiritual and emotional care contacts. Hundreds of these involved intense or crisis situations, including conversations about suicide, domestic or sexual violence, and drug abuse. We are a steady support for many people as they face dark times, but not alone.

Connection is impactful.



The latest one-night count in San Francisco found 8,011 people living in homelessness in the city, 17% more than in 2017. Hundreds of volunteers participate in this one-night count, which attempts to cover streets, shelters and other programs in every sector of the city. That number does not include people in prisons, hospitals and rehabilitation centers who are counted in a supplemental tally. Adding those numbers would put the city’s homeless population closer to 10,000, 30% higher than in 2017.

Read more from the SF Homeless Project of the San Francisco Chronicle.

How You Can Help

There are many ways to get involved: volunteering as a phone counselor or in support of our street programs; donating meals, silent auction items, and other resources; walking the streets with a night minister with your corporate team or community group; raising awareness in your own peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

We rekindle hope together with our volunteers and partners.

Pictured: Students from the University of San Francisco providing a meal of food from their cafeteria to our Tuesday Night Gathering.

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