Young men and women, dedicated to getting off the streets and improving their lives, thrive when they can live, work and learn together. Covenant House's Rights of Passage program is extremely successful at helping street youth rebuild their lives.
Rights of Passage provides youth with six months to two years of safe, affordable housing and support while they transition to independent living.
Young people have to apply to take part in Rights of Passage and live with us. They have to commit to the program, including curfews and classes, and they have to put aside a portion of their income to pay for room and board. These kids are serious about starting over and their journey is inspiring.
"At a time when I was being consumed by bad mistakes and judgment calls, you took me in and gave me the chance that I wasn't able to give myself. For that I am eternally grateful and forever in debt to you all. Your heart and desire to make a change in this world has helped so many of us tread through the most difficult times of our lives. You've shown us that we have the strength to conquer the world if we want it bad enough." - Danny, 20
Often, the young people who are recommended for Rights of Passage have had the least guidance and have seen the most tragedy.
Without families to help them, they lack basic skills such as budgeting, cooking, cleaning and goal setting. Many have been through destructive cycles where they try to leave the streets, but they get overwhelmed or taken advantage of, and end up back on the streets, more desperate than before.
When young people apply to the program, they know it isn't a free ride. They also know that they need structure, counselling and time to practice new life skills and behaviours in a safe, supportive home. They are invested in making the big changes that will keep them off the streets for good, and the staff at Covenant House support them every step of the way.
In addition to guidance, structure and support, they receive:
- A fully furnished apartment at Covenant House
- 24-hour support from Covenant House Youth Workers
- Help learning to clean and take care of household responsibilities
- Help with decision-making, money management, time management, communication skills and conflict resolution
- Support maintaining employment and/or developing an education plan
- Wake-up calls and help sticking to schedules (reminders of appointments and assignments)
- One community meal each week
- Counselling and additional support as required to heal from the abuses of the past
Many of our kids have lived with violence or the threat of violence for much of their young lives. Feeling safe is a right we all have but one these kids have not enjoyed. Rights of Passage at Covenant House is a sanctuary. Weapons, violence, harassment, discrimination, property destruction, involvement in the sex trade, and the abuse and possession of alcohol and drugs are not allowed. We provide a safe and sacred place to live and to grow. It's a place where kids can deal with the past and confidently move toward the future.
Apply to Rights of Passage
You can download an application here: ROP Application (Word Format)
If you have questions or wish to contact our staff:
Inside Rights of Passage
Rights of Passage is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).
HPS funds for the Metro Vancouver designated community are managed by Metro Vancouver in partnership with the Vancity Community Foundation and the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness.