Viatorian Associate Curt Saindon has remained steadfast in his commitment to Fortitude Community Outreach in Bourbonnais, that provides services and street outreach for the homeless. Not only does he volunteer there every week, but he actively promotes its work — and its clients — with his parish, St. George, and more recently with the wider community.

Associate Curt Saindon, right, with Fortitude staff member, Don Bider.

Last week, Curt penned an op-ed in the Kankakee Daily Journal asking for help for the homeless. In writing the commentary, he described a friend, “Moe,” who had been a talented athlete growing up. The two friends reconnected last fall, after 35 years, at Fortitude, when Curt was volunteering. Moe was homeless.

Over the winter, Moe stopped coming to Fortitude and instead found shelter in an abandoned garage. The space had no heat and ultimately he developed severe frostbite that necessitated him getting both legs amputated above the knees.

“We have to do better for our most vulnerable citizens,” he wrote. “The homeless people, the mentally ill, the marginalized, the victimized. They are here and they need our help.”

“They’ll end up in empty garages, abandoned house, cardboard boxes or bushes … and I’m afraid more will end up like Moe, or worse,” he continued. “I beg our community leaders and the citizens of Kankakee County to put petty differences aside and find a solution for caring for our homeless and mentally ill, before more people end up like Moe.”

Associate Curt Saindon with Fr. Render

This wasn’t the first time Curt had written about his compassion for the homeless. In 2021, he wrote in the St. George bulletin about the satisfaction he had found in working for the homeless at Fortitude. He urged parishioners to contribute to the organization’s capital campaign to build a permanent shelter. In describing his commitment, Curt pointed to the vision of Fr. Querbes and the Viatorian Community, to embrace “those accounted of little importance.”

Curt is a former business manager for the Kankakee School District and currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for Business Services for the Woodridge School District. He and his wife, Kathy, made their first commitments as associates in 2016.