To the delight of all, Bethany House of Hospitality* has a new home! On December 7, vans, cars, trucks, residents, staff and volunteers were busily engaged…..all part of the challenge of packing, then unpacking belongings from two years and 50 miles away.
The new residence is owned by the Missionaries of St. Charles (Scalabrinians) and was originally used as their seminary. Their missionary focus for the last 25 years has been to be migrants with the migrants and to be in mission with people on the move along with a special priority for the poorest migrants. So, when the Board was searching for a new location closer to the city, the Scalabrinians saw that the mission and purpose of Bethany House was a perfect fit for a building they were no longer using.
Though it was a challenge to move in December, the weather was on their side as the young women and their volunteers, made the move and worked to get the house initially settled. They have much more yet to do while they continue to focus on finishing their semester’s studies.
While their former house in Bartlett was a serene and beautiful setting, it was far from the city of Chicago. The new house is in a better location for transportation to classes and activities. (Staff members are also grateful to have a much shorter commute.) It is hoped that there will also be many more opportunities to engage the nearby community in volunteer activities with the residents using the larger space available. The good news is that resident capacity can double, but that is on hold due to budget constraints. Development and fund raising efforts are just beginning.
*Bethany House of Hospitality, established in 2017, is sponsored by several local religious congregations, including the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It provides housing and support services to young immigrant women as they journey to independence.