Joe arrived from another province and he was looking for a fresh start in Vancouver. An opportunity to leave his past behind and start a new life in a new city. But there was something that Joe couldn't leave behind: a history of neglect and abuse, and mental health issues which he struggled to cope with by using drugs.
Joe was in and out of multiple foster homes throughout his childhood without a consistent adult in his life. Joe was homeless in his late teens and then transient while in and out of hospital due to his mental health. So, much like the few belongings he had, Joe packed it all up and brought it with him to Vancouver. Now while there are resources in his home province which could have helped him, what was lacking for Joe were relationships, or connections, with the people at these services. Without a connection to the service Joe never engaged long enough to get the help he needed.
One of the values emphasized at Covenant House is the healthy attachment, for staff to be a supportive and consistent person for the youth. Since Joe arrived in our Crisis Program he has built strong relationships with staff and engaged with services like never before. Including a Mental Health Team and he even started a job training program. It didn't take long for his funny, personable and bubbly attitude to show as he started to build that new life he was looking for. Even when he is not in our program and out in the community Joe comes by for support, asking to see the staff he has come to know and trust and I am fortunate to say I am one of those people.