One year after the Viator House of Hospitality opened — with the mission of offering a supportive environment to young immigrant men while they seek asylum — it is nearly filled to capacity and a waiting list is expected.
“We filled up very quickly,” says Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, house director and coordinator of justice, peace and integrity of creation for the Viatorian Community. “We’ll have a waiting list soon. We need more Viator Houses of Hospitality.”
Currently, there are 20 young men — from 11 different countries — living in the home, who were released from youth shelters, before going to adult detention centers.
Br. Gosch and his co-director, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, expect to welcome three new residents next week. All of the current residents are either in school or working while their cases proceed in the court system.
Sr. Rayo Cuaya-Castillo, S.H. serves as case worker at the home, helping its residents meet their educational, emotional and personal growth needs.
The home and its ministry have drawn more than 70 volunteers — who help with transportation, tutoring and house coverage — and generous financial donations, but they always welcome more.
“The need is urgent,” Fr. Brost said. “According to the border patrol, there are nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the border each year, or more than 200,000 who entered the United States between 2014-2017, without parents or adult guardians.
“They have come from all over the world,” he adds, “and they have fled for their lives from violence in their homelands.”
He adds that welcoming these young men is rooted in the Viatorian mission of accompanying young people — as well as those “accounted of little importance.”