Frequently Asked Questions
about Urban Youth Mission: Chicago

About UYM | Available weeks | Accommodations | Location
Number of participants | Participant ages | Bringing adult leaders
Meals | Transportation and Parking | Items to Bring
Cost | Making Payment | More questions?


What is Urban Youth Mission?

While the exact schedule for an Urban Youth Mission Week will vary, the program runs Sunday through Friday, and includes opportunities for devotions, work projects, educational speakers, reflections, and free time.

To view the UYM weeklong schedule, click here.
To view the UYM weekend schedule, click here.

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What weeks are available?

Urban Youth Mission weeks are available each week of the summer, beginning Sunday, June 9 and continuing through (and including the week of) July 28. Please note that the week of July 4, the Urban Youth Mission is offering a special Junior High half week, running June 30—July 3.

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What are the accommodations?

Your group will be staying at Fourth Presbyterian Church, right across from the John Hancock Center on North Michigan Avenue. Participants are provided cots to sleep on in the Sunday School classrooms. Males and females will be separated. There are four showers (two for males and two for females) and a kitchen facility at your disposal.

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Where is Fourth Church?

Fourth Church is located in the heart of what is known as the Magnificent Mile, in downtown Chicago.

North Michigan Avenue is one of the busiest streets in the city, and we are surrounded by shopping malls, office buildings, and condo towers. It is a bustling, dynamic neighborhood frequented by workers, residents, shoppers from other areas of Chicago, international tourists, and people who live on the street.

As a tourist destination, the neighborhood around Fourth Church tends to have a visible police presence to provide assistance. Because it is a very active neighborhood, it is both a very safe neighborhood and also a neighborhood that calls for the attentiveness of any high-traffic public area: keeping track of personal belongings at all times is important, and it is recommended that smartphones be used judiciously while out on the street or on public transportation, as they’re very easy to snatch.

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How many people can you accommodate overnight?

Our facility can accommodate up to fifty participants.

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What age group can we bring?

The Urban Youth Mission program is designed for high school and college-age groups. Many of our partners have an age restriction of thirteen and older. We do not, however, mix ages: once an age group has signed up for a week, it becomes designated for that age group. Therefore the sooner you choose a date, the better we can accommodate you. Please note we do offer a special half week for Junior High groups June 30–July 3.

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How many adults do we need to bring?

For the junior high and high school groups we require a 1:4 ratio of adults to youth. For example, if you are bringing twenty students we require five adult leaders.

Adult leaders must be four years older than the oldest youth (i.e., if you have a seventeen-year-old on the trip, adult leaders must be at least twenty-one years old).

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What do we do for meals?

Fourth Church will provide breakfast for your group Monday through Friday. Sack lunch materials are provided each morning for you to use to make lunches to take to your work site monday through Thursday. Dinner materials are provided Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Groups will cook breakfast and dinner together as a bonding experience. Your group will be free Wednesday evening to have dinner on your own in the city.

Dietary restriction can be accommodated if advance notice is given to Fourth Church staff.

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What do we do for transportation and parking?

Your group will be using public transportation during your stay. Fourth Church staff will provide a CTA pass for each participant, which will enable them to ride the buses and train.

It is important to note that groups will be traveling via public transit during their stay in Chicago, and therefore there will be a lot of walking around the city. All participants should be prepared to walk extensively.

Personal vehicles won’t be necessary once you arrive, but if you will be driving, let us know in advance and we will make arrangements for you to park overnight in a nearby parking garage for $17 for each vehicle, with no in-and-out privileges. The parking garage has a height limit of 7 feet.

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How much does the Urban Youth Mission Week cost?

  • The Urban Youth Mission at Fourth Church cost $400 per person for six days.
  • Your space is not held until we receive the completed registration form and a $50 per person nonrefundable reservation fee.
  • Deposit of $100 per participant is due by April 14, 2019.
  • The remainder of your payment is due on or before your group’s arrival.

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How do we make payment for the week?

Please note that the final payment must be submitted no later than at the time of the group’s arrival.

Checks should be made payable to Fourth Presbyterian Church with “Urban Youth Mission” written on the memo line.

Checks can be mailed to
       Fourth Presbyterian Church
       Attn. Katie Patterson
       126 E Chestnut St
       Chicago, Il 60611.2014

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What should each participant bring?

  • Appropriate clothes for hot, humid, rainy, and sometimes chilly summer days
  • Modest clothing (no short shorts or revealing tops)
  • Clothing that can get dirty
  • Closed-toe shoes and long pants required by some sites
  • Comfortable walking shoes (we will be using public transit and a lot of walking will be required)
  • Sleeping bag or sheets and a pillow (a cot will be provided for each participant)
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack (to carry water bottle and sack lunch)
  • Some spending money for the free evening
  • Sunscreen and a hat
  • Shower shoes
  • Shower kit (a bag for carrying towel and toiletries as showers are on a different floor than the sleeping area)
  • Towel
  • Bathing suit (if your group wants to go to Lake Michigan on your free time)

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If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Katie Patterson, Youth Ministry Program Manager (312.981.4035).