On this day I was working as an intake worker, undergoing the procedure of intaking a new youth to Shelter. My second intake was a first timer to Covenant House Vancouver. She sat down in the office hunched over, wide-eyed and clearly uncomfortable. She had severe anxiety from living on the street, and literally had nothing but the clothes on her back. She had lost all of her identification and was suffering from some pressing medical concerns. Luckily, someone had referred her to Covenant House.
It felt amazing to be the person to tell her that she was in a safe place, and that the staff were all here to help her. When reviewing the behaviour expectations of Covenant House, such as being respectful to staff, she looked at me surprised and said “you’re being so nice and helping me, why wouldn’t I be respectful?” The youth took a shower, had dinner, and got to relax and watch some television. At the end of my shift, I walked out of the shelter and the youth was standing out front. She gave me a huge smile and wave good-bye, behaviour that was already a drastic difference from the terrified girl I had intaken a few hours earlier. Days like this are the reason I’ve chosen to do this work, there is no better feeling than that of helping someone in need.
Wishing everyone a fun & safe long weekend!
This past Sunday our youth took part in a Vancouver Street Soccer League tournament. Covenant House fielded 2 teams and one of our teams came in 2nd Place. The first place win went to a Portland Hotel Society team, but our youth were thrilled with the second place title! There was tons of cheering, high fives and many proud faces.
Another amazing thing happened as well: that Sunday was Mother’s Day, and one of our young people’s mom’s was out to cheer them and the team on. After the game, a youth worker went over to the mom to say hi and to introduce themselves and a very special moment took place. The mom was overcome with gratitude because we had helped her child and she was crying and giving her thanks to the youth worker. The youth worker was overwhelmed and had a few tears as well and it was a truly wonderful moment.
We are so proud of all of our youth, volunteers and staff who have practiced so much and worked so hard to become the awesome soccer players they are. Way to go CHV soccer stars!
Trophy from tournament
Joan Webster is many things a mother, wife, volunteer and she has recently let us know of her plans to leave a Legacy Gift in her will. Below is a letter written by Joan about why she is choosing to support Covenant House in this way. Recently an article about Joan Webster was featured in The Now Newspaper; please have a read of the article and the letter below. We thank Joan for sharing this letter with us and for all she does to support our young people.
Three years ago, I received a letter from Sister Nancy Brown at Covenant House. It was a fascinating and heartwarming letter that, deeply, touched my heart.
Sister Nancy shared her story of how Covenant House was transforming the lives of youth who lived on the streets of Vancouver. These kids were homeless and exposed to a life of crime, drugs and physical, emotional and sexual abuse. She spoke of their loneliness and of how frightened they were with no home to call their own and few, if any, adults of whom they could trust. I couldn’t imagine how bad it had been at home if they left for the streets to “find a better life”.
I am a mother of two kids in this age group. My own daughters have grown up with many opportunities in sports, music, language, the visual and performing arts and international travel. They were raised in faith and were loved. They were taught that giving back to the less fortunate, through community service and charitable giving, was important to us as a family.
Last February, I began volunteering with Covenant House supporting the youth workers in the drop in centre. The youth come in from a night on the streets for food and respite, and most importantly, they seek the advice and support of the youth workers, for all kinds of needs, proving that they still need adults in their life.
They remind me of my own children and I was wishing that I could do more to help them.
So I decided to leave a legacy gift, in my will, to continue to support this wonderful organization when I no longer can. It was easy. I contacted Covenant House and was given all the information I needed to make this possible.
By leaving a legacy gift, I know that the team at Covenant House will continue to give these deserving young people a chance for a healthy and productive life.
For more information about Legacy Giving at Covenant House Vancouver, please contact:
Development Officer, Individual & Planned Giving