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Supporting youth to discover positive self-care activities

For most of us, the idea of self-care comes naturally.  Whether it’s going for a run, knitting, or reading a book, we can easily identify ways we relax and take care of ourselves in order to present our best self to the world and contribute to our family, friends, and work environments. 

However, it is easy to forget that there are many people who live in poverty, experience homelessness, or struggle with complex stress and trauma, and that these issues often crowd out our ability to engage in healthy activities that help to nurture and take care of ourselves.  At Covenant House Vancouver, we support youth in their discovery of these self-care activities and our staff truly enjoys creating opportunities for them to experiment with activities that help them explore a new side of themselves. 

One of our youth workers recently installed a Self-Care Idea Wall in the Pender Crisis Program to remind us all just how many ways we can engage in these healthy activities.  And whether it’s running or yoga, cooking group or knitting, clients at Covenant House are never short of opportunities to learn new ways to take care of themselves! 

Self-Care Discovery Wall

Building trust with our youth is a key to help them move forwards

When Steve first arrived at Covenant House Vancouver, he was difficult to engage to say the least. My first interactions with Steve were met with swearing, yelling and threats. The Crisis Program staff were very patient and empathetic, understanding that Steve was new to the program, and probably wasn’t used to such a structured environment.

My co-workers and I saw this as an opportunity to provide support to Steve and to help get his medical issues looked at. My co-worker and I offered Steve an escort to connect with local community resources, so he could be more familiar about supports available to him. Over the course of the escort, Steve really opened up to us; telling us about how he came to be at Covenant House, and a little about his history. By the end of the afternoon, Steve was laughing and joking with staff, and even thanked staff for going out with him saying it was the “best afternoon”.

It’s not uncommon for youth to be hesitant to engage with staff when they first arrive at the Crisis Program. For many youth, Covenant House staff are some of the first adults in their lives that they’re able to rely upon and trust. An important part of our job is providing unconditional support and guidance for the youth. It’s only after the youth learn they can trust staff that our young people can engage in the program and move forwards toward more stability.

Trust Image

Make Nice for Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day  was created when two Nova Scotia high school students supported a fellow student that was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt by also wearing pink (read the full story  here). From that moment of solidarity Pink Shirt Day was born and it allows all people to stand up to bullies everywhere by wearing pink.  Bullying continues to be a major concern in schools, workplaces and over the internet and it is important to raise awareness around this issue and say enough to bullies!  

The campaign this year, encourages everyone to “Make Nice”. We all have the capacity to be kind and compassionate, and this  slogan acts as a friendly reminder that no matter what our differences, being nice is always a choice worth making.   Be sure to use the hashtag #PinkShirtDay and share how you are making nice. 

Pink Shirt Day 2017 - Make Nice 

Album Release for Jazz Singer Maya Rae in Support of Homeless Youth

14-year-old jazz singer Maya Rae is not only incredibly talented but has a generous and kind spirit. On February 23, 2017 at Frankie's Jazz Club Maya will celebrate her Album Debut and all net proceeds from this event will be donated to Covenant House Vancouver. You can learn more about Maya Rae here and listen to a recent interview on CBC here.


Thursday at 7PM - 10PM

Frankie's Jazz Club
765 Beatty Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B2M4

Maya Rae – Vocals
Miles Black – Piano
Cory Weeds – Saxophone
Vince Mai – Trumpet
Joel Fountain – Drums
Andre Lachance - Bass

For more information click here, the show is 90% sold out but there are still a limited number of tickets at the door on the night of the show!

Album Release for Jazz Singer Maya Rae in Support of Homeless Youth

Rocket Fuel