Welcome to Darkest Before Dawn. We are a charitable non-profit, based in Chicago and Los Angeles, with one simple yet urgent goal: to provide support, community and resources to our city's service industry, live entertainment and bar shift workers, who's late hours and isolated commutes leave them susceptible to depression, addiction and suicide. Recent data points to a high rate of evening and third-shift employee suicides and chemical dependency in our country, especially in the very industries built to provide excitement, leisure and happiness to everyone else. They are the ones heading home in the early morning hours, when businesses are closed, the streets are empty, and it truly is the darkest period of time before the dawn.

We have lost too many well-loved and highly-respected members of this community to suicide and depression, and we feel that there is a lack of mental health assets, social support and benefits for this particular group. As we build this community, we will offer:

  • A telephone and text hotline, staffed by crisis counsel-certified peers in the latest of hours
  • Online chat rooms, posting walls and message board
  • A curated list of medical and mental health resources, offering sliding-scale rates and off-hour access
  • A testimonial and rememberance page to share stories, art and photos of those we have lost, or those who need support
  • Finally, a return to proper service industry appreciation events and fundraisers

If you'd like more information or are interested in becoming a volunteer, please send us an email at info@db4d.org. In the coming months we will build this site into a peer-supported forum for those in need of a voice, a sounding board, a friend, an advisor or a confidant. All of us either have worked or are working in the service or entertainment-support industries. We know the frustrations, pitfalls and isolation of the job, the scarcity of medical or mental health benefits, and the need for help in those dark moments when you are exhausted, frustrated or alone. We want to celebrate the people who work so hard to make our nightlife possible, and to give them something back in return. More to come!

Want to make a donation? Your contribution will help immensely in our efforts.



Are you a service industry or live music venue employee?

Take our anonymous questionnaire to help us better serve you.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Crisis Text Line
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ mental health advocacy)

Darkest Before Dawn is a recognized 501C3 charitable organization