It’s always hopeful when you can find something GOOD that comes out of the challenging times we are living through now. The young men of Viator House in Chicago are reaching out to other immigrants in our country who are struggling to support their families as day laborers. While “stuck” at home these young men have been packing over 100 lunches a week. The lunches are taken to the day laborers by two equally dedicated
clerics, Fr. Corey Brost and Br. Michael Gosch.
Viatorians, Fr. Corey and Br. Michael have always had a special place in their lives for youth and for immigrants. Combine those two passions and you have the establishment of Viator House of Hospitality (VHH) in 2017. In three years, VHH has served 61 young men from 13 countries; men who turn 18 as unaccompanied minors but without relatives with whom to live, would remain in federal custody and be transferred on that important birthday to suburban county jails in handcuffs.
Viator House, similar to Bethany House (which serves young women), offers young men assistance with their legal proceedings, education to learn English and/or obtain their GED, counseling, job readiness and physical/emotional/spiritual support. Above all, they receive the care and guidance of Fr. Corey and Br. Michael, a dedicated staff and numerous volunteers.
Some of these men have been able to move out on their own, sometimes sharing apartments, sometimes finding family/friends who take them in while they are becoming independent with new-found jobs. The men are also very concerned about sending money back home to their families. One success story saw a resident able to bring his younger brother, whose life was threatened, to the United States. He now supports him while living in their own apartment.
While the current pandemic is another hurdle for these young men (and the women of Bethany House) they are better able to cope with support from their staff and one another, making them stronger