Support continues to grow for the mission of Viator House of Hospitality. At its annual fundraiser held earlier this month, called “Taste of Viator House,”  volunteers, supporters, board members and Viatorians raised approximately $125,000 for its vision of providing compassionate support to young men seeking asylum.

Br. Michael Gosch with Ms. Kumkum Bonerjee, a teacher at Cristo Rey St. Martin and volunteer tutor.

“Last week around 285 people came together to celebrate the lives changed since 2017: our participants, our staff, our volunteers, our community,” said Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, Executive Director. “Thank you for making Viator House a home for so many.”

Specifically, Fr. Brost and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, Director of Programs and Housing, who started Viator House of Hospitality in 2017, described how the lives of 106 young men from 26 nations since opening.

One of those young men, Khalid, addressed the crowd as the featured speaker. He described his journey to this country from Afghanistan in August 2021, during the massive evacuation at the Kabul Airport. He arrived, alone, in this country at the age of 17 and after turning 18, Khalid found his way to Viator House.

Award winner Matthew Hower with Fr. Corey Brost and Liz Andrews, Board chair

“On my first day at Viator House, I felt better,” Khalid told the crowd. “I saw that I had a future.”

He described how the staff at Viator House, including his case worker, Marianne Dilsner, had connected him with World Relief services for benefits, while also finding him a job and a tutor to help him with his ESL classes.

“On Aug. 5, after two years, I was reunited with my family,” Khalid added. “And on Aug. 15 I was granted asylum. None of this could have happened without Viator House.”

Members of St. James Parish

Another highlight of the evening was presenting the inaugural Heart of Viator House and Hope of Viator House awards. Matthew Hower, a founding board member and its first CFO, received the Heart of Viator House Award for his work and dedication that has been vital to the growth of Viator House.

Members of St. James Parish in Arlington Heights — who filled more than three tables — received the Hope of Viator House Award, for their ongoing dedication to the men who call Viator House home.