NightShift 2011

by NightShift

NightShift is about meeting people where they are and caring for them as they come. We know a hot nutritious meal and clean clothing can go a long way in supporting love, hope and purpose for people experiencing homelessness. But we wanted to do more to address some of the immediate needs we were seeing during our outreach meal – whether that be emotional, spiritual or physical. The friends we were serving at night often had health care needs, from open wounds to broken hearts, and they deserved appropriate attention from professionals.

“When an individual is simply trying to survive day to day, dealing with addiction issues, and wondering where the next meal will come from, there’s typically little energy left to access health care services,” says NightShift Founder and President, MaryAnne Connor. “This is why we decided to bring some of those services to the streets.”

In 2011, NightShift launched the Care Bus, a refurbished RV, designed to provide crisis counselling, basic nursing and prayer ministry to anyone in need. The Care Bus was operated by volunteers who held licenses as professional counsellors and registered nurses.

Operating twice a week at our nightly outreach dinners, the Care Bus saw and provided care for countless people over the 10 years it operated. From assessing vitals, providing wound care, distributing vitamins and meal replacement bars to educating patients about health and nutrition, referring them for further care and so much more, this bus was a source of care and dignity for many.

In 2020, NightShift had to retire the well-used Care Bus. But the need for accessible, street-level health care was greater than ever. The incredible volunteer nurses who served on the Care Bus were quick to offer their services from the NightShift building, where we continued the Care Bus’s legacy for a short time.

After fundraising and a whole lot of prayer, NightShift purchased and fabricated a new and improved bus, the Mobile Outreach Unit, launched in 2021 (which you will read about in the coming weeks!) We will always appreciate our Care Bus, for providing a low-barrier entry point to well-being and health services to so many people in need.

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