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Calvin's Story

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Calvin needs $14,500 to cover all costs of tuition, fees, and materials for Cortiva Massage Therapy Institute.

Please be part of Calvin’s story and support his dream of transitioning from homelessness to professional healer by enrolling and completing massage therapy school. This will allow him to sustain himself after he ages out of the youth homeless shelters/programs that currently aid him in housing and support. 

If #CalvinsStory has touched you, please share on Facebook to encourage others to donate!

Calvin is a humble, compassionate, and caring guy. A mediator amongst his friends, he believes in helping others and following his passions. Mindful meditation, jiu-jitsu, attending church and journaling are all activities that bring Calvin joy. As with Zen nature of meditation and the art of jiu-jitsu, Calvin is passionate about spreading that relaxed and calming aura into the world by way of massage therapy. He believes while relieving someone of physical pressure, he can talk with them, listen to them, get to know them and ultimately help relieve them of mental, emotional, and spiritual stress as well.

Though Calvin has dealt with the many insecurities that come along with homelessness since moving to Chicago years ago, he has taken advantage of the resources at his disposal like attending Truman College as well as working several jobs. Additionally, his volunteering at Illinois Masonic Hospital and role as a go-to peer for others in similar situations are testaments to his giving spirit and genuine connection with humanity. Calvin has put so much good out in the world, now it is time to return the favor.

“Whether you’re rich, poor, middle-class, motivation should be your friends, family, even strangers, your community. It should be about what’s good for people collectively, not  just what’s good for yourself.”
-- Calvin

Project Updates:
Since the project began Calvin thankfully secured a better housing situation in Rogers Park. It's a large house with many tenants, Calvin cooks and cleans in exchange for a room, we are uncertain how long this arrangement will last, though thankful for it! Thanks to all who have donated thus far, especially Massage Williamsburg & Massage Greenpoint for their large donation to see a new great young healer enter the profession!



Calvin’s Story: Homeless Healer is the first project for What Matters Productions in the Street Based Stories series. Co-produced with SoapBox Productions and Organizing, this micro-documentary tells the life and struggles of Calvin Curtiss, one of the countless homeless youths in Chicago and across the nation. 

As Calvin is by-far not alone in his struggle, this campaign serves as a pilot project for a series of pieces about young people surviving homelessness, countering the wider stereotypes about homeless people through individual stories of loving, kind, hard working individuals that are likely victims of their circumstances and structures beyond their control. Calvin’s Story is a launching point for a broader mainstream discourse and more actionable campaigns by way of digital marketing and sharable social media. These micro-documentaries can harnesses the power of emotional narrative to build a base of support from the community to change the structures that perpetuate homelessness.

Get involved! This project took a lot of work from professional in the film world, activist circles, non-profit sector and other allies who donated their time and expertise to contribute to a story that matters. See more updates and help spread the word!


What Matters Productions

SoapBox Productions and Organizing | @SoapBoxPO

If you would like to learn more about how to help street based youth, please reach out to our partner organizations:

Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ
All Chicago: Making Homelessness History 
Lake View Lutheran Church
Teen Living Project
"The Crib" of The Night Ministry

Special Thanks to:
Truman College
Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom


  • Robert Adamson
    • $25 
    • 7 yrs


Caullen Hudson
Chicago, IL

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