CTA has long been a shelter of last resort for homeless riders, especially in cold weather and especially on the Red and Blue lines, which offer 24-hour service. But passengers sheltering on trains have become more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of office commuters dropped and as finding space in shelters or other typically reliable options became challenging. The Night Ministry, which provides the services at Forest Park and sets up a similar program on the Red Line, typically served more people weekly in the first months of 2022 than the year before. The Chicago Department of Public Health began funding the Night Ministry pilot program in January 2021, and the Department of Family and Support Services adjusted its homeless outreach efforts to include measures like providing protective gear and connecting people to vaccines and testing.



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