A while back a young lady came to us who was in the middle of a crisis involving her boyfriend. She stated that they moved out to Vancouver so they could live together but after living in a house with a couple other roommates he left to go to Toronto. At first he stated that he was going for some work but would be back very shortly, but when he never returned or called. She realized she couldn’t pay for the place on her own and wound up at Covenant House despite holding down a decent job. After a short stay in the program she was given some information regarding our Rights of Passage (ROP) program and this interested her quite a bit.
She spoke with staff extensively about how she thought it would be good for her to gain some independence with the added support she felt she needed. However, there was one barrier: the boyfriend. At an inopportune time he came back to Vancouver and demanded that she leave the Crisis Program to live with him. He became angry and verbally abusive when she told him how she was interested in ROP and the support it would offer her. She even told staff that she wanted to discharge to live with him just to calm him down. Staff at Covenant House encouraged her to make her own decisions and to do what she though was best for her even if that meant making tough relationship decisions.
After a short period of time this youth’s boyfriend started to come around Crisis Program looking for her but staff were diligent in keeping her safe and not letting him have any knowledge of her location. Things escalated and he became more intense. This youth decided that his behavior was not acceptable and Covenant House was the only stable thing in her life at the moment. This stressful situation made things very clear and youth cut ties with her boyfriend and committed to ROP. Many months later this youth is a successful resident in the Rights of Passage program. She is doing well and is working on building healthy relationships and her self-esteem.
Wishing moms everywhere a very happy Mother’s Day!
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced yesterday the launch of their annual fundraising campaign #BuckUp for Mental Health in support of Covenant House Vancouver. The campaign begins Saturday, May 7th and culminates at the ‘Caps match on Saturday, May 28th when Whitecaps FC take on Houston Dynamo at BC Place.
The Caps are looking to raise the equivalent of one dollar per fan in the stadium. With the seating capacity expanded for this season, the goal is to raise over $22,000 by May 28th.
“A dollar per person may not seem like much,” says Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi, “but when our fans come together for this worthwhile cause, we can reach this goal and make a big difference in the lives of youth in our community.”
Whitecaps FC are also proud to have the support of the Vancouver Police Department who will be on site to collect donations at half time in May 28. “It is critical that we create awareness for mental health as it affects every single one of us in some capacity,” says Vancouver Police Department Constable Garett MacDonald. “If we can educate people in our communities, we can continue to reduce the stigma that is embedded in our culture and that individuals create for themselves. Please "Buck Up" and help change the culture towards Mental Health.”
New this year, the ‘Caps are excited to offer an online auction for fans to support #BuckUp for Mental Health. Fans can choose from a variety of unique items and one-of-a-kind experiences, including a day of golf with former Whitecaps FC defender and South Korean legend Young-Pyo Lee, a personal coaching session with Whitecaps FC Ambassador Carl Valentine, or a behind-the-scenes tour of the Vancouver Police Department’s K9 unit.
Funds raised through #BuckUp for Mental Health will be donated to Whitecaps FC community partner Covenant House Vancouver. More than 1,400 homeless youth visit Covenant House Vancouver every year, many of whom struggle with mental illness. Covenant House Vancouver’s key initiatives include a soccer program which has proven successful in the rehabilitation of youth including Erin, who is featured in the #BuckUp video.
To donate to #BuckUp for Mental Health in support of Covenant House Vancouver or for details on how to bid on an auction item, please visit whitecapsfc.com/buckup.