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A Christmas Safety Net

This is my second Christmas at Covenant House. I have seen how many of the youth begin to get anxious as the holidays get closer. I had one particular young man who was quite unsure of where he wanted to spend Christmas, as his original plans had fallen through. He was not sure if he wanted to stay at Covenant House or request an overnight stay with a family member that lived in a nearby city. So as we chatted throughout the evening eventually leading up to decision time. We brain stormed what Christmas would look like in both going to a family members home or staying here at Covenant House.

This young man was very worried about his interaction with his father and how that would play out. But he was quite excited about the possibility of spending Christmas with his grandmother. The week before Christmas this young man approached me and stated that he had decided to go to his grandma’s place for dinner. He said to me, “If I get to uncomfortable I can just return to the shelter, right? I don’t have to stay there overnight.” I told the youth, yes, once the overnight had been approved, if he felt threatened, unsafe, and or uncomfortable, he could return to the Shelter at any time.

I was off until Boxing Day night, and when I came on shift I saw this young man, he smiled and waved, so I went out to the common area and had brief conversation with him. He proceeded to tell me he was so happy that he had gone to his grandma’s place for Christmas, and he stated that it was very reassuring to him that he had the safety net of returning to Covenant House if he felt unsure of staying. He thanked me for helping him decide whether to go or not. I told this young man that all I did was provide him with the tools to make the decision himself based on his own comfort level and his ability to make wise, healthy choices for himself. As I walked away I realized that for many of the youth that reside here at Covenant House, not only do we provide them with food, a warm bed, someone to listen to them, but for many we are a safety net. 

safety net image with heart 

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

From all of us at Covenant House Vancouver we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Thank you for all your support and friendship over this holiday season; it’s because of friends like you that we are here each and every day helping our young people. Thank you for being part of our Covenant House family!

Please note:

Our office will be closed December 25th through 28th but if you still wish to make a donation you can do so online here. We will be open and taking calls on December 29th.

If you are looking for information about when & how you can donate clothing, food or other items click here.

If you are a youth in need of help, we are open 24 hours/day and the toll free number is 1-877-685-7474.

Christmas wishes

All is calm, all is bright...

It is a couple of days before Christmas and everywhere I look I see the joys of the season. I have become filled with Christmas spirit as we have true examples of the meaning of Christmas happening here in the crisis program. At a back table, Youth Worker Freeman is teaching Frank how to do shading on his drawings, a gift of art that Freeman has and openly shares with the youth. Another Youth Worker, Huamei, has her lap top open and an audience before her as she shares one of her favourite videos from “TED Talks”. A lively and humorous discussion ensues about the topic.

Yesterday the tension was high as it dawned on the youth that this would be a Christmas they would be spending in a crisis program. Something has shifted today and the youth are happily chatting with one another and at ease.  Everyone is calm, harmonious….peaceful.

all is calm all is bright image

 

Dedicated donors, volunteers & staff bring Christmas to our youth!

Thanks to a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers, caring donors and hardworking staff the Christmas Backpacks are ready to go for Youth Christmas Party which is happening today. A big thank you to everyone who makes this special day possible, we could not do it without everyone’s support.

Check out pictures from our backpack packing day and shots of our Drop-In space ready to host our young people and bring them some Christmas joy. Our Christmas party includes a big Christmas feast with lots of goodies & treats and of course a Christmas Backpack for every single youth.

Merry Christmas to all our young people!

volunteers helping for Christmas backpacks 

Christmas youth backpacks 2014 

Christmas part 2014 

*Please note there are no pictures of our youth to respect their confidentiality, we take the pictures before the party started so our youth can just relax & enjoy *

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