Thanks to the leadership of Associate Curt Saindon, St. George Parish in Bourbonnais is working to help Fortitude Community Outreach build a new homeless shelter in Kankakee.

Associate Curt Saindon

As part of its “Build a Fort” campaign, the parish will match donations up to $5,000.

Fortitude Community Outreach began in 2017 as a street outreach, to connect needy and homeless individuals with resources and assistance. The agency now offers emergency shelter from October to May throughout Kankakee County as part of the Public Action to Deliver Shelter, or the PADS program, providing revolving locations five nights a week.

However, this year, Fortitude officials have undertaken a capital campaign to build a new, permanent shelter. They hope to open the 5,500 square foot residence in October, when it would be the only active shelter in Kankakee County.

Associate Curt Saindon, right, with Fortitude staff member, Don Bider. Both, along with staff member Debra Taylor, received a shout-out from Fortitude officials for their commitment to the homeless.

Curt is a career educator who has found tremendous fulfillment in volunteering at Fortitude. He wrote about his compassion for the homeless during Advent, when the parish showcased social justice ministries and the parishioners who were involved with them.

He wrote that his commitment to serving the homeless reflected the vision of Fr. Querbes and the Viatorian Community, to embrace “those accounted of little importance.”

Fundraising for the shelter is part of St. George’s yearlong celebration of 150 years of ministry, during which its pastor, Fr. Daniel Belanger, has dedicated all events and outreach opportunities to gathering families together to grow in their faith.