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Jessica creates a new path for herself and finds happiness

When I first met Jessica in our Crisis Program she did not say much. She was very polite, but made little eye contact often looking down. Jessica said please and thank you often but would not speak unless asked a direct question and mostly would give one word answers. She did not share much but mentioned she was going through some losses in the family. Jessica originally comes from further north in BC, but left to change her lifestyle.

After losing her mother, Jessica felt she was left with no choice but to move and create a new life for herself. Jessica said that the rest of her family was not taking the loss of her mother well and were using drugs and alcohol to cope with the loss. Watching her mother deal with addiction made Jessica determined to create a new path for herself. As the weeks progressed Jessica opened up to us more about her family life and desire to find a job and start a life of her own. Jessica said she wanted a fresh start. She signed up for a pre-employment program where she learned many skills including resume writing, job interviews and other important life skills. Now she is employed at a clothing shop where she gets to give her expert opinion on cute outfits and help others to feel good about themselves.

Recently, we went on an outing where we took a sea ferry across the water to watch a play on the other side of Vancouver. All of the girls mentioned that they had never been on a sea ferry before but Jessica was visibly the most excited. Her face lit up as we passed landmarks and she smiled and laughed with the other girls. At one point when the boat was cruising across the water in beautiful Vancouver, Jessica turned to me and mouthed silently, “I’m happy”.

Picture of Vancouver Aqua Bus

 

Therapy Dog Numa provides unconditional love to our youth

Let’s face it.  We all need a hug sometimes. And at Covenant House Vancouver, Numa is more than willing to oblige. Numa is a  St. John’s Ambulance Certified Therapy Dog who accompanies her owner on her shifts in our Crisis Program. She offers her fuzzy cuddles and adoring gaze to anyone who needs it (full confession: even some of us staff have fallen prey to her high quality cuddling skills)!

She’s a big, brown, bundle of love and demands nothing in return for her service.  She has no expectations, just shows up and does the job that all of us hope to do here at Covenant House – provide unconditional love to someone who needs it. 

Thanks for your service, Numa, and for reminding us that sometimes love is as easy as reaching out your paw. 

Pictures of Numa our Therapy Dog

Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide

"Youth homelessness is a pressing issue worldwide that requires urgent attention. To help address the issue, a collaborative group of organizations from Canada and Europe have developed Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide for grounding strategies to end youth homelessness in international human rights law. The guide, based on research, consultations, input from youth and the expertise of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Ms. Leilani Farha, argues that all young people have a fundamental, legal right to be free of homelessness and to have access to adequate housing.

The guide brings human rights to the forefront of decision making with an aim to assist in the identification of systemic causes of homelessness and human rights solutions. It includes steps that policy-makers, front-line workers, researchers and others can embrace a human rights approach." – Taken from The Homeless Hub article Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide.

To view the full report click here.

Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide

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