As a youth worker in the Crisis Shelter, I find that day after day I am touched by the strength and courage of the youth that come to Covenant House Vancouver. In particular, a Shelter youth named Kelsey, whose determination and courage to overcome her addiction really touched my heart.
This was Kelsey’s first stay at the Shelter. When I first met Kelsey she was quiet, kept to herself, and spent most of her time out of Shelter with her boyfriend. During her first stay she had did not return to the Shelter one night because she stayed out drinking with her boyfriend. Kelsey came back to the Shelter a while later for a second stay and this time she shared that she struggles with alcohol; particularly, binge drinking. During this stay Kelsey stated she wants to work on her sobriety and get back to being independent. Since her re-intake she has begun to open up to staff, participate in outings, and has been getting to know other youth in the Shelter. It can often take youth a few stays before they open up to staff about their issues and history, youth workers build relationships with our young people to slow build up the level of trust.
When doing Kelsey’s assessment (a tool we use to get to know the youth better) her story almost brought me to tears. After we completed her assessment she burst into tears and said “I can’t believe how well I am doing”, “Thank you Covenant House, if it was not for all of you I would not be doing this well”, “Thanks to each and every one you”. Hearing Kelsey’s gratitude almost brought me to tears again because I was so proud that she could see how well she was doing. I also realized that it is her courage and determination that has got her to this point, and that we have only guided her along the way.