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A window of opportunity

One of the services we offer to the youth here at Covenant House is “Brief Services”; they take place at our Drake reception area. Brief Services provide youth not currently in Shelter with warm soup, dry socks and personal hygiene products. We have a chance to talk with the youth and in some cases it is just a quick hello, and we tell them to stay safe and away they go. Other times youth want to spend some time talking and sharing as they stand at the counter eating their soup and warming up.

It was on a cold night that a male who had come in a few times before and is generally one of the just a quick hi and stay safe kind of youth, appeared to want to chat more than usual. As he stood their eating his soup he started to talk about the weather and how cold it is outside. He went on to tell me how much he really appreciated the hot soup and that this was the first hot meal he had eaten in days. He stated that he had moved to Vancouver a few months ago and was out of money and he indicated that he would really like to go home but didn’t know how he could manage that. He had not talked to his mom in a few weeks and was feeling sad. I spoke with the Team Leader on shift and it was decided we would help the youth to call home and talk to his mom. When he got off the phone he had a renewed sense of emotions. His mom was going to try and get him an airline ticket home.  He asked me if there was any way he could possibly call his mom another time to work out the ticket home. I gave him the number and drop in times for Community Support Service (Drop-In & Outreach) and told him that they would be able to assist him with this.

A few nights later the youth came back into Drake reception and stated that he was flying home to Ontario the next day and wanted to know if he could get clean socks and underwear, which we were happy to provide. This youth then thanked Covenant House for being here and stated that we have no idea how much we had assisted him. He stated that if he could one day he would repay us for the services; I informed the youth that this was not necessary but thanked him for his kind words. The youth then went on his way.

Providing Brief Services allows us to start the relationship building process with youth; often there is a short window of opportunity with young people and if we can help them right in that moment it can make a huge difference. What started with a warm bowl of soup & a phone call became an opportunity to have a young man reconnect with his mom and return home safely.

window of oppertunity

These are the things that bring tears to my eyes...

I just wanted to share with everyone …

"Today while working at Drake reception I had a young family come in and they had 2 young boys (ages 4/8).

The 8 year old just had his birthday and requested his friends and family not bring gifts but instead donate to CHV. He brought in an envelope with 265 dollars!! He said the total was a little over 300 but some people donated online. These are the things that bring tears to my eyes and show me strength in the generation who will soon be our leaders. Thanks so much to this young man. He also drove in with his family from delta for their weekend outing just to bring it in. Way to go little man!!! I can only hope I raise my son to be as kind hearted as you! " – Sarah

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Spread love this Valentine’s Day and support young people in need

You can show your loved ones how much you care this Valentine's Day by making an in honour donation to Covenant House Vancouver! Not only will you help a young person in need, your Valentine will get a online or paper card notifying them of your donation and you will get a tax receipt. It's a triple win - our youth, your loved one and you!

An in honour Valentine's Day Card can be e-mailed or mailed to your loved one.

Donate online here or call 604-638-GIFT (4438).

happy valentine's day

Shelter Cooking Group Creates Amazing Bannock Tacos

Every Saturday evening, the youth in the Shelter have an opportunity to cook under the supervision of youth workers. Cooking is a great life skill for our young people to learn and a terrific time to build relationships. Together they make a variety of foods ranging from cookies to stir-fry to soup. One evening, the youth had decided to make bannock tacos. Excited, the youth got straight to cooking and even made double the batch provided on the recipe! As the clock rolled to 9:00 PM (snack time), the other youth, who weren’t participating, came down to the dining room greeted with the smell of fresh bannock. When the cooking group started, the rule has been: when the food is created by the youth, it belongs to that youth who participated. To the Youth Workers’ surprise, the group who created the bannock tacos decided to share their creation with all of the other youth. There was even enough food for the staff to sample some. The food was great and everyone was happy & full. Now every time there are bannock tacos planned – everyone comes running into the kitchen!

bannock tacos