I work the night shift in the female Crisis Program and one night I received a phone call from a past resident called Cassie that really sticks in my mind. I remember when Cassie first came to Covenant House; she always seemed very withdrawn and seemed to find it difficult to approach staff. She really kept to herself as much as possible and didn't interact much with the other youth.
While hanging out and coloring in the common space at the female Crisis Program Sarah, Emma and myself were speaking about how their day had gone. Sarah stated ‘It’s funny how I always refer to here as home.’ While Emma replied ‘Yea this is the first place I have ever called home.’ Both youth have come from under-privileged and challenging backgrounds.
The snow is not fun for everyone but folks at Rights of Passage made the best of it and created a snow friend. It has been stated that from the side it may resemble a turkey!
For youth who need to get out of the snow our Drop-In Centre is open this morning and there is a full hot meal from 3:30 to 5:00pm.
I had the opportunity to work with David for over a year in our Crisis Program before he was accepted in to our Rights of Passage Program (ROP). During his time in our Crisis Program he grew so much as an individual. He exited his previous street-involved lifestyle, enrolled in school, completed a job training program, took care of his health issues, started visiting his family again, and gained full time employment.
Mary came to Covenant House in need of support as she was fleeing the street life, was alone and didn’t know where to turn. When looking at Mary, you could see the pain behind her blue eyes. On the outside, she tried to put a smile on her face to convince us she was okay, but on the inside we knew she was struggling. Mary stayed in our Crisis Program five times over a year and every time she arrived she looked more and more lost in her addiction.
Prior to living at Covenant House Vancouver Anna lived in a small, remote community. She came to Vancouver with the hope of addressing her mental health needs as well as finding a stable job and place to live. Things didn’t work out the way she thought and she came to Covenant House at a very low point in her life. During our intake process I remember Anna being extremely nervous and she described that she was feeling a lot of shame and had not told anyone that she chose to come to Covenant House.
Working on the weekend, I have the unique position of not only supporting the youth with their daily life tasks and personal plans, but I also get to plan and coordinate various recreation activities. For many of our youth, before coming to Covenant House, they have not experienced healthy recreation activities on a regular basis. Some of our youth have very few sober friends or connections, and their “fun” activities in the past often involved drugs or alcohol. For others, a lack of funds has limited their recreation options.
Mitch is a truly amazing and dedicated youth worker but he recently went above and beyond. He participated in spa night at ROP and even let our young people paint his nails.
Thanks for being so awesome Mitch and for letting us share these photos!
When I started working at Covenant House Vancouver, I began working on the weekends and loved it because I got to spend lots of time with the youth and got to know them well. Later on during my time at Covenant House I moved to working night shifts and one thing I knew I would miss would be spending time with the youth on a regular basis. One night in particular I recall was New Year’s Eve. The team had arranged to take the youth down to the Waterfront for the fireworks show and to ring in the New Year in a special way.
Christmas is a time to celebrate, reminisce on the past year, and get together with family and friends. For the youth staying in the Crisis Program, this can be a difficult time. Many youth are disconnected with their family, and don’t have opportunities to celebrate with Christmas dinners, family outings and gift exchanges. Staff at Covenant House recognize this and we do our best to support the youth throughout the holidays.