Don’t look now, but Viator House of Hospitality quietly reached its 7th anniversary today, but don’t expect a splashy celebration. Today and every day, their work continues. Case managers work round the clock to provide access to legal, medical and mental health services, as well as enrolling participants in high school and sometimes college classes.
But the lifeblood of the organization are the many, many volunteers — more than 700 — who come from all walks of life, and help out in a myriad of ways to help these young asylum seekers make a new life.
Take Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, for one. This year, he will have served as a teacher and a counselor for a combined 23 years at Saint Viator High School, and another 11 at schools in Las Vegas, including Bishop Gorman High School, St. Viator School and Cristo Rey St. Viator.
But his interest in young people goes beyond guiding them through their high school years and getting into college. Each month he and Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, accompany young people into Chicago, where they distribute lunches to the marginalized on the street, through The Night Ministry.
Br. Rob also pitches in when needed at Viator House. This week, he worked alongside one of the participants to paint a room for a new young man coming from Northwest Africa.. He will be the second participant from this African nation to move in this month.
Together, Br. Rob and one of the participants worked to make Viator House more welcoming for this new resident. It’s quiet efforts like these that advance the mission of Viator House, to be a safe refuge for young men seeking asylum — and a home that offers faith, hope and healing.
“Today, seven years after we opened with five young men from five nations, we celebrate all the people who maintain and grow our international, interfaith village,” Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, Executive Director, says. “We’ve welcomed 108 young men from 27 nations through the years. It’s an important birthday — for an important village.”