CHICAGO — A GoFundMe recently has been launched for a former homeless man who dreams of becoming a massage therapist.
The fundraiser is for Calvin Curtiss, a 23-year-old who had been homeless since coming out to his family several years ago. Curtiss resided on a floor mattress at The Crib, a homeless shelter for people between ages 18-24.
He also attends Truman College and volunteers at Illinois Masonic Hospital.
As of Saturday morning, the GoFundMe had raised $1,735 of its $14,500 goal.
"People are often deeply honest with Calvin," said Curtiss' friend Quinn Wilson, who created the GoFundMe page. "I think people will come to him for physical healing and leave feeling heard, calm, and more at peace emotionally and spiritually than they ever expected. That's what will bring them back to him professionally — masseuse and therapist in one."
Wilson, the founder/filmmaker of What Matters Productions, teamed with fellow Lakeview resident Caullen Hudson of Soapbox Productions & Organization to make a three-plus-minute video about Curtiss' life.
After the video was filmed, Curtiss found a job as a cook and cleans in exchange for a room in a large home in Rogers Park.
Wilson, who is also the creative director of the "iO Comedy Network," said the video shows how Curtiss has positively impacted so many lives.
"Calvin would contribute to society by listening, he has a crazy-high E.Q. and is so good with people from every walk of life, he makes people feel comfortable and happy, he is a moral leader, he does so many good things for the world," Wilson said. "The tricky part is in our society, if you can't monetize your skills, you’re left in a bad position."
Wilson met Curtiss at the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ more than a year ago. The friends have meditated together or just go for walks around the city.
The $14,500 will cover "all costs of tuition, fees, and materials for Cortiva Massage Therapy Institute," according to the GoFundMe page.
“Whether you’re rich, poor, middle-class, motivation should be your friends, family, even strangers, your community," Curtiss said on the GoFundMe page. "It should be about what’s good for people collectively, not just what’s good for yourself."
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