Yes, there is a Hospitality House in Chester, IL with a vision to provide lodging for families and friends when visiting the incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center, Chester Mental Health Facility, and Pinckneyville Correctional Center.
The stress and heartache of having a loved one incarcerated is beyond explanation in itself, but when that loved one is transferred hundreds of miles away that only compounds the heavy toll on the family, not only physically but financially. Many cannot afford the cost involved of staying in a hotel, and traveling hundreds of miles can be challenging on even the best of us without a period of rest. The Hospitality House helps ease some of the burden of visiting family members in prison by providing low cost overnight lodging as well as giving the family a chance of visiting their loved one for more that one day if they choose.
Other lives are affected by incarceration. Not only those who are sentenced to prison but fathers, mothers, children, and wives who are left behind are also affected. These left behind loved ones that are trying to give their incarcerated family members support will become an important part of them transitioning back into the ‘real world’ upon completion of their sentences. Families left behind become the collateral damage of prison sentences but can be an important part of rehabilitation with continued contact and support. While the majority of prisons are hundreds of miles from the city where most of those who are imprisoned are from, families cannot always afford the travel expense that comes from staying at a hotel; this is beyond the means of some. The incarcerated prisoner suffers, and the family suffers.
The Hospitality House, sits on a little hill overlooking the Mississippi River and is doing its part of making a better world. It impacts the lives by allowing loved ones to stay connected. It has helped untold families as well as those behind bars throughout the years since it opened its doors in 1986. To date, 29,766 guests have stayed at the Hospitality House with the goal to welcome families and friends visiting their loved one with a comfortable place to rest on their trip.
A special thanks to Fr. Leo Hayes who has served on the Hospitality House Board of Directors since 1985. He has been a guiding force and the spiritual leader of the board for 31 years as well as the president of the HH board since 1996. Fr. Hayes retired on June 15, 2015 from his priestly duties and submitted his resignation on December 6, 2015 as president of the HH Board. Fr. Hayes will continue to serve on the board but not as president. Thank God for the gift of Fr. Hayes to Hospitality House for so many years.
Hospitality House of Chester – Address: 120 Ferry Street, Chester, IL 62233
Reservations: Aminah Coleman, House Mgr. (618-826-9810) or Mark Horstmann (618-568-1945)
Hospitality House Website: (https://hospitalityhouse.yolasite.com)
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/HospitalityHouse(Hebrews13:2-3), Inc.
“O Lord, let your light shine on others through me.” Mother Teresa