Something that I love about Covenant House is that we have lots of different programs and services in order to meet the varying needs of our youth. This provides staff the ability to connect with youth in different phases of their journey.
I recall meeting one particular youth early in my employment with Covenant House who was very proud to claim he held the record for the most stays at our Crisis Shelter. This young person had stayed at our Crisis Shelter about 34 times in five years but was now overage for our Shelter (youth can stay with us up to their 24th birthday). However he stayed connected to us by accessing the Community Support Services and Brief Service (this is a service run by our shelter during the overnight hours) which offers hot soup and pastries to youth not staying in our Shelter.
One night, the youth showed up for some soup and a snack but this time he wasn’t bragging about his multiple stays in Shelter, he was bragging about being sober, how great he felt and how clear headed he was. He also told me he had a new place and had been living there the past 2 months. He was excited to talk about this as it was the longest that he had been independent. The youth went on to say he would miss “Covey” and he was grateful for all the resources he was connected with while he was staying in Shelter. The youth said he still continues to access many of the supports that he would have never known about if it weren’t for Covenant House.
When the youth left that night, I was the one who was so excited to tell my co-workers about my inspiring conversation with this youth and I was happy to pass on the positive news that he was off the streets and doing so well. Sometimes it may take a young person many tries before they leave the streets and I am happy we are here to stand with them as the work towards independence.