Darkest Before Dawn

Darkest Before Dawn is a Chicago-based non-profit organization, with one simple yet urgent goal – to provide resources, support, and help for the Service Industry community, who’s late hours and isolated commutes leave them susceptible to depression, addiction and suicide.


The Problem

Let’s be clear about it: the job can be hard. And it can punish. It’s one of those things that only somebody who’s done it, or is doing it, knows.

Recent data points to a high rate of chemical dependency and suicide for this demographic in our country, especially in the very industries built to provide excitement, leisure and happiness to everyone else. We have lost too many members of this community, from artists and chefs to bartenders and waitstaff, security, healthcare and more. There is a huge lack of medical, social and protective benefits for the Service Industry community.



Darkest Before Dawn wants to celebrate the people who work so hard to make our nightlife possible, and to give them something back in return. The goal is to offer:

  • A directory of businesses committed to the health, safety and support of industry employees
  • A telephone and text hotline, staffed by crisis counsel-certified peers in the latest of hours
  • Industry-focused chat rooms, social media pages and message boards
  • Safety programs and security advocacy for employees as well as patrons
  • A curated list of medical and mental health resources, offering sliding-scale rates and off-hour access
  • Fundraising efforts for industry artists and employees in need
  • A testimonial site to share stories, art and photos of those who need support, or those we have lost
  • A return to proper service industry appreciation events and fundraisers


How to get involved?

If you’d like more information or are interested in becoming a volunteer, email info@db4d.org or visit their website db4d.org where you can donate or find out about all upcoming events.


Support Events

Darkest Before Dawn hosts a bi-weekly “Monday Decompression” support group from 5-7PM at GMan Tavern, 3740 N Clark. This meet-up is for industry folks to get together and support each other, led by David Gasper, who has worked at Metro/Smart Bar for 6 years and recently received his masters in clinical mental health counseling. 

There’s an industry discount on drinks, free coffee, and periodically other ways to help our industry family with life and self care. We offer a safe space to share, to vent, to listen, and to hopefully find coping mechanisms and more, among friends.


Darkest Before Dawn Service Industry Weekly Meet-Up

Every Other Monday* 5-7PM

GMan Tavern (back room)

3740 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613


Get exact dates here. 

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