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Intact Foundation – Helping Youth Find a Home

Last week, we were extremely fortunate to receive support from the Intact Foundation for our Independent Living Program!

A big issue for homeless youth in Vancouver are the significant barriers in finding housing, including the low amount of rental accommodation in the city, the high price of this type of housing and a lack of life skills with which they can obtain and retain housing.

The Independent Living Program of Covenant House Vancouver builds community relationships to increase access to affordable housing options and teaches life skills to youth so they can manage relationships with landlords, cook and clean in their apartments, and self-advocate based on their rights as tenants.

The Intact Foundation has been a valued supporter of Covenant House since 2003. Over the years, they have made a tremendous difference to our youth, enabling them to take those first critical steps in getting off of the streets.

The Intact Foundation provides support to registered Canadian charitable organizations for endeavours that foster vibrant Canadian communities by encouraging independence and strength-of-mind among youth at-risk. They also support communities in preparing for long-lasting changes in weather patterns by funding organizations that focus on climate change adaptation. In 2013, Intact contributed approximately $4 million to charitable organizations that are active in communities across Canada.

A big thank you to the Intact Foundation for helping us make a difference in hundreds of young lives!

intact photo laura and Mithles Lalintact logo
Pictured: Mithles Lal, Branch Director, Western Division at Intact and Laura Pashkewych, Development Officer, Corporate & Foundation Giving at Covenant House.

New mural for our Drop-In Centre

The entrance to our Drop-In Centre has a new beautiful and welcoming mural thanks to the hard work of practicum student Ann. Ann was completing her practicum (a hands on learning experience) with our Outreach & Drop-In teams when she came up with the idea to create a mural. She dedicated a lot of time and effort into this project and the results are lovely. 

Thank you Ann!

mural in drop in centre
The quote featured on the wall says: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

mural at drop in centre

mural at css

Sending a huge thank you to Lionheart Sports

Lionheart Sports regularly helps our athletic programs with donations of sportswear and equipment. They recently donated over 500 sport related items including track suits, rugby wear, street hockey balls, basketball clothing and sport socks. These items will allow our young people to pursue their athletic goals in comfort and style. Having our youth participate in sports program helps them to develop important life skills like problem-solving, teamwork and leadership.

Our thanks to Lionheart Sports for their wonderful support of our sports programs!

lionheart sports donation

Lionheart sports donations of gik

Bragging Rights

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.

road to recovery