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A special young man gives thanks

The first day that “Tim” arrived at our Crisis Program, it was obvious that he was a very special young man….special because of his cognitive abilities and special because of his spirit.  Tim had a huge gaping wound on his arm and it needed to be constantly re-bandaged. Tim lacked the ability to see that and staff would call him in and offer to tend to it for him. Tim would almost bounce into the staff office, lapping up the love and attention staff would give him while changing his wrappings and listening to his gentle voice.  You could tell Tim really appreciated the efforts of the staff and would often thank us by saying “God bless you Guys”.

The rest of the youth knew that Tim was different and sometimes isolated him and whispered comments about him. Our team always works hard to create a positive environment for all our youth and intervened when necessary. We were all seated ready to eat our fabulous dinner when Tim came to the dining area with his tray, looking for a place to sit.  No one offered him a seat and I could see the hurt and rejection in his eyes.  I quickly asked Tim to join our table and he seemed relieved.  What happened next was something I will never forget…..

Tim bowed his head, prayed to himself and then began to eat his dinner.  “Tim you pray before you eat?” I asked. He responded, "Oh yes, I am so grateful to live in Canada and that I have a warm bed and this great dinner.” You could hear a pin drop in the dining room as the other youth overheard his explanation. The energy in the dining room suddenly changed. Youth gathered up dishes after our meal and helped the kitchen staff with piling the dishes. A group of youth invited our cook to join us for dessert, which she did. It was if Tim’s humility and spirit of gratitude made everyone more accepting of one another.

Recently, Tim left our Crisis Program, as he had secured long term housing. Although all of our youth will eventually move on, it is sometimes sad to see youth leave (for us and for the youth). When Tim left, he turned to me and said “God Bless you, don’t be sad, this is meant to be.”  Tim, the one who was sometimes isolated and whispered about, set an example today...not just for the other youth, but for the staff as well.

Gratitude image 

Become a mentor and change a life

As a Covenant House Vancouver mentor you can give a young person the opportunity to learn, grow, and help smooth the transition into adulthood. Mentoring is a great way to give back to your community and help build brighter futures for youth who have not always had positive adult role models.

As a mentor, you’ll share your knowledge and experience while building a trusting, healthy relationship with young person in need. You will help equip them with essential life and career skills and the tools to make positive choices.

Mentorship Program Details:

- Our Mentorship Coordinator will work with you to find a youth aged 16-24 that matches the skills you have to offer.
- You will work one on one with the same youth for one full year.
- Meet with your youth mentee once a month in person and check in by phone, email or text once a week.
- Have ongoing staff support for any questions or concerns that may arise.
- Training and learning sessions will be provide before you start mentoring and throughout the year.

If this sounds like the volunteer experience for you please fill out an  application. Applications can be submitted to the Mentorship Coordinator Lisa M. at, by fax to 604-647-4484, or in person to 326 West. Pender St. Please note you must be 26 or older to become a mentor.

If you have any questions or would like more details please contact:

Lisa Mendes
Mentorship Coordinator
Phone: (604) 647-4480 

Picture about our Mentorship program 

Help us fill our Christmas Backpacks

Each holiday season, we provide all of our young people with a Christmas backpack filled with new clothing, toiletries and small gifts. We hope that you will consider supporting our backpack program this Christmas and make the holidays special for our Covenant House youth.

Ways to donate to the Christmas Backpack Program:

1. Contribute to our costs

It costs us $100 to fill a backpack with gifts!  Donate    this amount to our campaign and help us purchase one whole backpack for a youth in need!

2. Purchase a completed backpack

Order a completed backpack online through our partnership with Army and Navy and have them ship it directly to us! 

3. Include us in your holiday shopping

Click  here  for our complete list of backpack items! Take it with you on your holiday shopping trip and then drop off items at 575 Drake Street. Please call Amy to arrange a time for drop off at 604-639-8937.

4. Donate any new items from our list

Any new items are welcome and very helpful. Pick one or more items from our  list and bring them to 575 Drake Street. Our holiday helpers will be building backpacks from the donated items. Every bit helps and is truly appreciated!

Our top new items we are always in need of are:
Men’s Underwear

Please note:

We would greatly appreciate all backpack donations being delivered to Covenant House Vancouver (Drake St. Location) on or before  December 11th, 2015 as we have our youth Christmas party in mid-December and many backpacks are handed out at this time. 

We can only accept  new, unopened  items for the backpacks.

Please  do not   wrap items or pack the backpacks yourselves. Pack like items together to make it easier on our sorting team!

Please be sure to let us know you plan to support our campaign and when you will be dropping off or having your items delivered.

If you have questions please contact:
Amy Cotton

Picture of Christmas Backpack


Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 4-10, 2015

"Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.

Mental illness affects more than six million people across the country, or one in five Canadians. A strong societal stigmatization of mental illness persists, forcing individuals into the shadows to suffer alone in silence. Unfortunately, many Canadians with mental illness will not seek the help they need and society continues to remain unaware of the significant burden mental illness places on us all." -  CAMIMH

Learn more and see what events are happening in your community  here.

Mental Illness Awareness Week  


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