Birthdays are understandably a difficult time for many of our youth. Often our youth aren't able to celebrate their birthday's with families, which can trigger a range of emotions from loneliness to sadness to disappointment. One youth that's been with Covenant House for a while approached staff stating that he's been struggling emotionally as his birthday was only a week away.
The youth disclosed that this would be the first birthday he spent away from his family, and as such he was expressing regret with some of the decisions he made that caused him to leave home. Staff gathered together to provide emotional support for this youth to help get him through the time before his birthday. On the day of his birthday staff ordered a cake from the kitchen to be given to the youth as a surprise during dinner time.
This youth often spoke with staff about upcoming movie releases and shows he'd been watching. Knowing this, staff were able to give this youth a movie ticket to take his mind off his family on his birthday. This youth told us the next day that his birthday had turned out much better than he expected, and he expressed how grateful he was for the way staff treated him.