By any measure, the first fundraiser for the Viator House of Hospitality was a rousing success.

Br. Michael Gosch describes Viator House of Hospitality, as Fr. Corey Brost looks on

“A Taste of Viator House” took place Oct. 6 in Querbes Hall at Saint Viator High School and drew a sold out crowd of supporters. What’s more, it generated more than double what organizers had cautiously hoped to raise.

“The outpouring has been amazing,” said Julie Wood, who chaired the event. “We had to turn people away. That tells us that people really want to be part of this and that they’re looking for ways to help.”

Sarah Van Huis, left, serves as president of the board, while Julie Wood chaired the fundraiser

Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, and Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, started Viator House in 2017 to provide compassionate support to young men seeking asylum. The house is grounded in the Viatorian commitment to young people — and to “those accounted of little importance.”

The fundraiser was sold out weeks ahead of time

In the 18 months since it opened, the home has welcomed 36 men, from 15 countries, offering them housing as well as case management and supportive services.

“Each has a powerful story of migration and a reason for leaving their home country,” Br. Gosch told the crowd. “Many, if not all of them, have witnessed some sort of persecution and death. Many, if not all of them, suffer from some sort of trauma.”

The event had a global feel and featured dinner choices inspired by the home countries of residents

Fr. Dan Hall, left, describes the Viatorian commitment to supporters

In some ways, Br. Gosch was preaching to the choir. Many in the crowd already volunteer at the house, doing everything from tutoring and driving residents to school or jobs, to serving as mentors, as well as developing marketing and fundraising strategies.

“I know God is real, because I see God’s work every day through these incredible volunteers,” Fr. Brost told the audience. “We are a place of hope, healing and opportunity, where young men are taken care of and reminded every day that they are important.”