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Gina & Scot now have a home they love, a life they are proud of and a future that excites them!

When most of us are looking for an apartment to live in, we don’t worry about how we’ll obtain furniture or even if we’ll be accepted as tenants. We have credit history, past landlord references and everything we need to make a home. Our housing workers, Marc and Linda, work with young people who face multiple barriers to finding suitable places to live. Recently, they worked with a young couple, Gina and Scot, whose “home” was a dilapidated SRO (single room occupancy) room in the Downtown Eastside. Gina and Scot wanted to get away from the drugs and the violence and the chaos. Gina and Scot had fled dysfunctional families. Gina had stayed in our Crisis Program a few times and both she and Scot were without family support. They had found each other but needed to find an apartment to live in, however, both of them were on Income Assistance, as many homeless people are. They wanted to improve their lives and they felt that doing so would be difficult without finding a safe place to live. They reached out to Marc and Linda who immediately got to work.

Marc and Linda talked with them about their budget and employment goals. This helped to determine how much they could afford to pay in rent and narrowed the search to ideal locations near transit. Gina and Scot were coached on how to call a landlord, what to ask and how to set up viewing times. Our van was used to escort them to apartment viewings. During the drives, they talked openly about their hopes and dreams. Scot had been out of work for the past few weeks due to a slow period and Gina was working temporary labour jobs but wanted something permanent. They admitted being nervous that landlords might judge them because they were receiving income assistance.

After many viewings, the hard work paid off and we helped them find a place— a lovely one bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a house. The landlord was amazing, offering everyone snacks and drinks while the tenancy agreement was being filled out. On move in day Marc and Linda provided Scot and Gina with a start-up kit consisting of plates and bowls, cups, cutlery, towels and bedding and almost everything that is needed to turn a house into a home. Furniture was obtained from St. Vincent de Paul and Marc and Linda introduced them to their local food bank. They know they can call for housing support or life skills enhancement such as budgeting, meal planning, and cooking skills or just about anything else—anytime.

When the couple was living in the Downtown Eastside they were using drugs and alcohol to cope with their dire situation. Now, they are both free from drugs and alcohol and have built a new community around their church. Gina has completed a training program and Scot is working full time in a job he loves. It is often said that home is where the heart is. Gina and Scot now have a home they love, a life they are proud of and a future that excites them—including having Marc and Linda for tea which they recently arranged.

You can help more youth like Gina & Scot have a chance at a new life. Donate Now

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Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts: A snapshot of BC youth's mental health

The McCreary Centre Society has releases a new report, Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts: A snapshot of BC youth's mental health, it is the work of 28 youth researchers who share a common interest in promoting positive mental health by increasing awareness and understanding of youth mental health.

Be sure to check out this important report created by young people in our community.

Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts: A snapshot of BC youth's mental health

 

Rize helps make lives better!

Covenant House Vancouver is primarily privately funded by companies, foundations, community groups and individuals like you and me. As a non profit organization here to provide the best possible love and support to at-risk and homeless youth who find themselves on the streets of Vancouver for no fault of their own, we have 6% government support and rely on the generosity of our community to invest in the 1,400 young people we help each year.

So when a company calls us up and says: “We would like to host a fundraiser for you!” you can imagine how ecstatic we would have been!

Rize Alliance Properties Ltd. phoned us up last year and let us know that they were creating a charity donation program and were about to start asking all of their construction partners to donate to Covenant House Vancouver. They developed a handout with information about our Continuum of Care: street outreach, drop-in centre, residential Crisis Program and transitional housing program, and did an amazing job advocating for our young people to raise an incredibly impactful amount of funds - $4,050!!

In a lovely note that accompanied donations Rize Alliance Properties collected from ten of their partners already, Rize stated:

“This is just the beginning and there will be additional donations as we continue working with more construction partners.”

Thank you to everyone at Rize Alliance Properties Ltd. for taking your fundraiser to the next level. We are truly grateful for the time and enthusiasm in you have devoted to improving at-risk and homeless youth’s lives. Thank you!! 

We would also like to thank and recognize the following companies for their generous donations and support through Rize’s fundraising initiative:

Acton Ostry Architects
Broadway Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Co. Ltd.
Femo Construction
Jetline Contracting
Keller Canada
Nemetz (S/A) & Associates
North by Northwest Ventures
PWL Partnership Landscape Architects
Southwest Contracting
Starline Windows

Thank you Rize Alliance Properties for weaving vibrant communities. 
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Infographic: Social Media, Technology and BC Street-Involved Youth

Recently The Homeless Hub shared an article written by Marion Selfridge titled “Infographic: Social Media, Technology and BC Street-Involved Youth”. The article looks at the difference between housed and unhoused youth when it comes to knowledge and use of social media and technology. The article and infographic are worth checking out and reference a 2014 survey conducted with 135 street-involved youth aged 15-24 in British Columbia. 

Infographic from Homeless hub 

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