Viatorians in the Chicago Province are taking an active approach to serving those in need, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ever mindful of their commitment to “those accounted of little importance,” Viatorians made a lead donation to a local organization that serves the homeless and those at risk of being homeless, in the Northwest suburbs. Journeys: The Road Home is located in neighboring Palatine.
Its mission is to provide shelter, supportive services and affordable housing to the area’s most vulnerable. Included in their services are overseeing the network of faith communities who rotate each night to offer temporary shelter, or Public Aid to Deliver Shelter, commonly known as PADS.
“The current crisis has caused many churches and their volunteers to step back from this crisis, thus leaving between 60-80 men, women and children on the verge of living on the streets and even more vulnerable to the coronavirus,” said Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Provincial, in a letter to supporters. “So, in line with our mission as a Catholic religious community, the Viatorians have pledged to pay the cost of nearly 60 Journeys clients in area hotels for three weeks.”
Beth Nabors, executive director of Journeys, knew firsthand of the Viatorians’ generosity. For starters, Saint Viator High School students have woken up early every Thursday morning — for the last 10 years — to clean up a local PADS site, after guests have left. Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, began the service project with students and Associate Cathy Abrahamian continues to accompany them every week.
“When this site closed our kids were really upset and worried about our homeless residents,” Abrahamian said. “They’re passionate about PADS. I’m just so proud of our students who have been working to keep this site open for more than 10 years.”
One of those students, John O’Neill, is so passionate about the homeless they serve that he started a GoFundMe page to raise money for even more people to stay in hotels. In just one day, he raised more than $1,000, which was his original goal.
“Thanks to your grateful donations we have gotten one whole family or individual in a hotel room for three weeks,” John wrote to his contributors.
Fr. Hall hopes other local faith communities, and individuals, join in their mission of providing shelter for the homeless.
“It is my hope that you join us in this commitment to care for our most vulnerable sisters and brother during this crisis,” Hall added in his letter.
To make a donation, visit: https://www.journeystheroadhome.org.