September 11, 2018

San Francisco Night Ministry


San Francisco Night Ministry and Spanish-language CPE

Rev. Rod Seeger and Rev. Silvia Tiznado

Funded by an ACPE Innovative Program Grant

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.

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. 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 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 receive no public funding, and we don’t charge anyone for any of our services.

San Francisco Night Ministry also offers CPE. We expect openness to learning and responsible functioning in an interfaith approach to ministry. Students are challenged to provide a listening presence to those experiencing crisis in what may be perceived as the impersonal setting of the streets of San Francisco. Students will receive extensive experience in crisis counseling, working closely with other professionals providing care to the marginalized in society. As a recipient of the ACPE Innovative Program Grant, our “Broaden the Night Ministry” program provides  scholarships to Spanish-speaking students ministering in Spanish speaking communities.

In order to offer Spanish-English CPE units it was essential to determine if there were enough Spanish-English speaking applicants in the San Francisco area. Rev. Silvia Tiznado researched and identified Spanish-speaking only congregations as well as English-speaking congregations that are involved in ministry to the Hispanic and Latino communities. The Spanish-English CPE unit is open to clergy, licensed ministers and laypersons.  Rev. Tiznado has walked the streets of San Francisco with a Night Minister to identify areas in San Francisco where primarily Spanish-speaking, Hispanic/Latino homeless persons may live and where they could be found. She also researched the City of San Francisco data sites. The City of San Francisco reported in the 2017 Population Estimates that there are 121,774 people who identify as Hispanic or Latino. From the San Francisco Homeless County & Survey 2017 comprehensive report, 22% of unsheltered persons counted in January 2017 identified as Hispanic/Latino.

San Francisco Night Ministry Leaders

Night Minister – The Rev. Valerie McIntee

Clinical Pastoral Education – The Rev. Rod Seeger and the Rev. Silvia Tiznado