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Our young people learn the joy of gardening

Our Pender building has a wonderful rooftop garden and common area for the youth and staff. The tranquil garden is a little oasis in the middle of downtown Vancouver and is well used all Summer. 

Our Rights of Passage Program has a gardening group where youth can learn to grow and tend plants. We have a number of fruit trees and other plants including apple, pear, raspberry, veggies and even an olive tree. The youth and our kitchen team use the healthy and delicious produce when cooking meals.

We wanted to share some pictures of our beautiful garden that is being lovingly tended to by our youth and staff.

Enjoy! 

Pender Roof top garden

Save the date for the Ride for Refuge on October 1st

Let the good times roll!  On October 1st, Covenant House Vancouver is once again participating in the Ride for Refuge, a fantastically fun, family-friendly bicycling and walking fundraiser. 

If you’d like to fundraise and ride/walk for Covenant House (as a team captain or team member) please visit the Ride for Refuge  website.  Don’t forget to choose Covenant House Vancouver as your charity of choice when setting up your team! More information is also available in here.

For more information on Covenant House or if you have questions, please contact:

Mark Savard
savard@covenanthousebc.org 
604-639-8922
or
Jen Moric
jmoric@covenanthousebc.org 
604-639-8923

Save the Date October 1 2016 Ride for Refuge

“Every interaction we have with the youth is important.”

I often get asked from people who don’t work at Covenant house “What is the most important work you do with youth”. My response is always anything and everything! We spend all day with the youth, interacting, talking, caring and supporting them. Not only are we getting to know the youth but they are getting to know us. They notice everything we do, the way we act, respond, talk, laugh everything, you never know when some action, gesture or word that is perceived as insignificant could have an impact on them.

Kathy was a young girl who came to Covenant House subsequent to her running away from home. Kathy’s childhood was one of instability, violence and degradation. She never experienced a nurturing living environment and was insulted and belittled daily. Her childhood consisted of bouncing between foster care homes then finally back to her family home. At a young age she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

While in our Crisis Program Kathy’s anxiety was explicit. We all as a team would encourage her to use her skills and what she has learnt in the past to help her overcome feelings of distress. On one occasion, we went on an outing to observe a parade. After a few minutes at the parade Kathy felt overwhelmed and became increasingly distressed, her whole body shaking and she had a fixed stare. We walked up a quieter street and sat on a bench side by side. I asked her to let me know what would support her at that moment. Nothing was said. There was complete silence between the both of us for nearly 10 minutes. After this Kathy initiated conversation and asked to walk along the outskirts of the parade where there were less people, which we did.

The next day Kathy came to me and thanked me for what I had done. I was confused and didn’t understand what she was referring to. She said “thanks for being there with me, it really helped”. Although I felt I had no part to play and Kathy had utilized her skills to overcome her anxiety, according to Kathy, by simply “being there” supported her to do this. So yes, every interaction we have with the youth is important, you never know what meaning it can have for them!  

 “Every interaction we have with the youth is important.”

Keeping homeless youth safe & cool in this extreme heat

When we think of homeless people and weather we generally worry about it being too cold not too hot but summer weather can have a negative impact on the homeless as well. Homeless people often lack places to get fresh water and areas to stay cool. At Covenant House Vancouver we prepare for the heat and make sure our youth that are living outside have proper supplies. We provide water bottles and water, sunscreen, cool clothing and remind them to take it easy and seek shade when it is hot.

If you want to help homeless youth this summer here are a few things we need:

Sunscreen
Reusable water bottles
Bathing suites, flip flops and summer clothing

If you have questions about donating please contact mbarrie@covenanthousebc.org or 604-639-8937 and to see a full list of needed items click  here.

Also when you are out and about this summer keep an eye on all people and check in with them if they are looking ill.  When we work together as a community we can all have a happy, fun and safe summer!

extreme heat - lets keep homeless youth safe

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