Frequently Asked Questions
How do you reach out to men involved in survival prostitution?
Our outreach teams, made up of staff and volunteers, spend time on the streets at night where men are working. We have a consistent presence in these areas year-round.
How can I explain Emmaus to others?
Emmaus ministers to the men in Chicago who are involved in survival prostitution on the streets.
Are the clients of these men women?
Virtually 100% of their customers are men.
Are men in survival prostitution gay?
Men in survival prostitution identify themselves as straight, gay, and bisexual. In one study, only 17.9% of the men surveyed identified themselves as gay.
What is the relationship between the gay community and the men you serve?
Although some members of Chicago’s well-established gay community do avail themselves of the services of prostitutes, many customers drive in from elsewhere. Not all of these customers are openly gay.
Is male prostitution on the rise?
We continue to see an increase in the number of men on the streets. Prostitution arrests involving men rose from 20.7% in 1970 to 42% in 1998. Between 1989 and 1998, arrests for female prostitution dropped by 13.3%; arrests for men during the same period rose 16%.
How do you start a conversation?
The same way you would with any stranger. Emmaus is interested in establishing relationships built on trust with these men, so conversations rarely turn “evangelistic” right away. Many of the hustlers know about Emmaus; some will be willing to talk, others won’t.
How can a woman work at a ministry for men?
Seeing healthy relationships between men and women is very valuable for men in prostitution; many have grown up in fractured homes. Through the women at Emmaus, these men have the opportunity to experience healthy peer relationships with women and observe men and women interacting with each other.
How do you get the men to come into the Ministry Center?
We invite them. Those who come in are showing a willingness to begin the process out of the streets and are recognizing the need for some change in their lives.
Where do you start when they come to the Center?
Emmaus looks at the whole picture of a man’s life and begins where he sees the greatest need. By providing warm meals and clean clothes in a safe environment, Emmaus offers men a place to focus on their relationships, addictions, health care, education, employment and other life issues. We eat together, listen, and provide referrals to services, churches, and support groups.
How many men do you help?
The average attendance at our Ministry Center is 200 to 300 men per year and over 200 men on Outreach; there are over 1,000 contacts with these men each year. For the most recent numbers, please see our Annual Report.
If I donate to Emmaus, can I decide where to direct my contribution?
Yes. Unless you have indicated otherwise, gifts go into our “general” fund and are used wherever there is the greatest need. Designation options for your gift include Ministries of Evangelization, Ministries of Transformation, Ministries of Education, or specific staff member support (must be specified by name). To make a general or designated contribution online, click here.
What if I don’t want to be acknowledged for my gift?
Just let us know. If you prefer to get a year-end summary rather than a receipt letter for each gift, contact us. You also have the option to choose this when making any online donation.
Can I donate online?
Absolutely! You can give securely here. You will need a major credit card. You can make one-time donations or set up a recurring gift.
Is there a way to maximize my donation?
Many companies will match their employees’ charitable donations dollar-for-dollar. If your employer has a matching gift program, ask for a form from the human resources department. Follow the instructions for filling out the form and send it to us with your gift.
Can someone from Emmaus speak at our church or organization?
How can I get involved as a volunteer?
One-time volunteers can help with special projects or by providing a meal. Because relationship is the basis of our ministry with the men, we ask that volunteers who wish to spend time doing outreach on the streets or providing hospitality in our Ministry Center go through a weekend training that is offered 3 to 4 times per year, and commit to at least one year of monthly or weekly service. Click here to learn more.