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A healthy cooking lesson helps to motivate Sam

Recently Sam, one of our ROP youth, mentioned to me that he really wanted to start going back to the gym, but he was struggling with motivation and mental preparation. He also said that he wanted to change his diet in order to improve his workouts. We discussed healthier food options and protein intake for before and after the gym. I proposed that we do some cooking that would involve healthy high protein foods. He was excited to create a positive change so we scheduled an appointment to do a cooking exercise.

The appointment came and went. Sam struggled to get out of bed. I tried to wake him up, but efforts proved futile.

Later during the day he approached me and apologized for missing his appointment. He told me he wasn’t doing well and was having difficulty getting out of bed. We re-scheduled his appointment and this time he assured me he would be there. He asked that I wake him up on the morning of our appointment day and that I was not to leave his room until he was standing on his own two feet.

The day of the second appointment came around, and once again he did not get up. I stayed in his room until he was on his feet, but the moment I left, he would jump right back into bed.

At 1:00pm I went back to his room and made it clear that this was his last chance to have me help him with this healthy cooking exercise. Twenty minutes later, a staff member called me and said that Sam was looking for me. I was very surprised, but at the same time, exhilarated and thrilled!

We met in the kitchen and made peanut butter and protein powder energy bars. We had to leave them to set in the freezer overnight, but the following day he came to my office and was so excited to tell me how delicious they were. Now, Sam and I are working on establishing a physical activity routine and he is scheduled to attend yoga with me next Wednesday.

I am so proud of Sam and I am looking forward to continuing to help him with his healthy living goals.

Protein Powder Peanut Butter Balls


2 cups crunchy peanut butter
2 scoops protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
2 ripe bananas mashed
2 tbsp flax seed (I used ground flaxseed)


In a large bowl, mix to together peanut butter, protein powder, bananas, and flax seed. Mold the mixture into walnut-sized balls (melon scoop works well) and place them in a container lined with parchment to separate the layers. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving, best if frozen overnight.

The recipe that was used was from Spark People.

protein peanut butter balls

Zero Ceiling provide our youth with a wonderful day snowboarding

On February 19th I traveled to Whistler with 15 youth from Covenant House for the Daily Shred Program offered by Zero Ceiling. The conditions could not have been better and there was more than 100cm of fresh snow. We gathered our gear and met our amazing instructors Luke and Kosta. They were patient and caring with the instructions and they guided us around the mountain. There were falls, tumbles, crashes and even hitting trees but the day was filled with laughter and joy. The mountain brought out the best in the group and it provided many struggles and even more positive achievements. At the end of the day no one wanted to go home and the youth were on cloud nine. Our young people were so happy and I could see it on all their faces. On days like this I am so grateful that we have such wonderful relationships with other organizations.

Zero Ceiling thank you so much for an amazing day of snowboarding!

zero celiling image

Housing Matters

Our Housing Support Workers help youth find and hold on to safe & affordable housing. They also provide life skills, in home supports and help them set up & feel good about their new home.

Below is a story shared by one of our housing workers highlighting the work they do and how you can support this program:

A young couple recently approached me asking for help.  They were living in a Single Room Occupancy Hotel in Vancouver’s downtown east side and they wanted out.  They wanted to get away from the drugs and the violence and chaos.  They wanted to improve their lives and they felt that doing so would be difficult without finding a safe place to live.

We talked about their budget and their employment goals.  This helped to determine how much they could afford to pay in rent and narrowed the search to ideal locations near transit.  We coached them on how to call a landlord, what to ask and how to set up viewing times.  We used our van to escort them to half a dozen viewings.  During the drives they talked openly about their hopes and dreams.  He had been out of work for the past few weeks due to a slow period.  She was working temporary labor jobs but hoping to find something permanent.  They admitted they were nervous that landlords might judge them because they were in receipt of income assistance.  We encouraged them to be honest and emphasized that being on income assistance was nothing to be ashamed of.

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 awesome.  She even offered us snacks and drinks while filling out the tenancy agreement!

On move in day we provided them with a start-up kit consisting plates and bowls and cups and cutlery, towels and bedding and almost everything that is needed to turn a house into a home.  They know they can call us for housing support or life skills enhancement such as budgeting, meal planning, cooking skills or just about anything else anytime.

To learn more about or Housing Program and our Housing Support Workers click here. If you have an apartment for rent or you know of someone who is renting out an apartment, and you want to help, please contact Covenant House’s housing workers at 604-880-8439.

picture of volunteer helping youth

A poem written in honour of the volunteers & youth workers

I notice you…

You may not know it, but I notice you

I notice you in the clothing room, that weekly volunteer that smiles at me and doesn’t notice that I have dirty clothes or nails

I notice you at the check-in desk when you greet me with a smile even though you don’t know the things I had to do to survive on the streets

I notice you when I am on the street and I am cold, lonely and sometimes high, and you notice ME and offer me a snack or a hand up

I notice you when you offer me a hot meal and treat me like I matter

I notice you when you say hi and when you sit down at the table while I eat my meal

You may not know it but when YOU notice ME it makes me feel like I can make it one more day

T H A N K   Y O U



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