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Mary is taking the first steps to leaving the street

Mary is fairly new to us at the Crisis Shelter. She is very young, under 19 years old and although her years may suggest otherwise, has had a challenging life so far. Mary first arrived at the Shelter late one night. A concerned citizen brought her to our doorstep when he found her sleeping on the streets alone and with nowhere to go. I was asked to meet her and to be gentle as she was hesitant to accept our supports. When I first was introduced to her, she was sitting in a chair, kind of slumped over a bit and it looked like she'd been crying. I introduced myself, sat down and asked if I could get her She nodded yes and accepted a sandwich from me before we began talking. I explained what the Shelter was like, what to expect and how we at Covenant House were glad she made the choice to come in out of the cold if only for one night.

I completed her intake and checked Mary in to her own room that night. This was her first contact with us...but not the last. Mary stayed only 1 night that stay...eagerly gathering her belongings the next day and leaving to go back to the streets and to her street family. Mary didn't have a conventional family she identified with for the most part & ran away from home to escape. She was a very spiritual young girl, gentle and very creative and stubborn and opinionated all at the same time. Mary knew what she wanted and had chosen the street life despite the efforts of many community agencies to offer her more stability and support.

Her second stay with us was a little longer and gave me the opportunity to get to know Mary a little better. I'd become a familiar and dare I say a welcomed face to her, and she sought me out to chat a little and was accepting of my offerings to her. I think the day I got her a brand new pair of shoes that were just her style, was the day the Mary began to see Covenant House as a support to her. In between her 2nd & 3rd stays in Shelter I made the effort to seek Mary out a few times in the Drop-In space upstairs from the Shelter. Each time I did this, I'd always tell her how nice it was to see her, would ask if she was safe and would always end our little chats with the invitation to return to the Shelter if she needed a break from the streets. She became more and more responsive to this notion which was encouraging to see.

Mary took a long break from Shelter but eventually came back. This time she was different. She looked different...more healthy and happy...and she'd enrolled in and was completing some schooling. Mary had also stopped using drugs which was a huge feat in and of itself. And this time she came back to Shelter because she wanted to not because she felt like she needed to. This distinction was very important to Mary. During her stay Mary warmed up to staff slowly but surely, but still remained guarded in many ways, preferring to look to her street family for guidance. There were days of triumph for her, and very difficult days which challenged all involved as Mary fought against those trying to support her. Mary has stayed the course in Shelter so far and is trying to figure out her place in the world. No one knows what will happen next with Mary, but we're all just taking it day by day to see what will happen.

New Denver Quilt Guild donates quilts for our youth

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet with Skip Young who came by to drop off 3 quilts that were made for our young people by the New Denver Quilt Guild.

The approximately 18 members of the guild are extremely active in their community.  They meet once a week at a local church and can spend several months completing one of their creations. Skip was kind enough to pick the quilts up on his annual trip through the Kootenays and deliver them safely to Covenant House!

These beautiful quilts will be given to youth moving out on their own for the first time.  They are sure to brighten any space, and turn a house into a home!

Thank you so much to all the members of the New Denver Quilt Guild!  

Skip and Abbie with quilt donation


Give a Day, Build a Life

We are excited to share that the annual Give a Day, Build a Life campaign will once again be supporting our transitional housing program, Rights of Passage. Rights of Passage provides young men and women with an incredible opportunity. The opportunity to grow, learn and achieve lasting change. 
Rights of Passage helps young people learn the life skills they will need to continue to be successful once they leave the care of Covenant House. Skills that many of us learned from our parents and that many of us take for granted. Skills like how to care for their physical and mental health, prioritize their education and employment, budgeting, cooking and how keep a clean home. Youth in the program are required to be either working or in school, yet many juggle both. These inspiring young men and women are committed to changing their lives, and they need your help.
By supporting Give a Day, Build a Life you are providing our youth with so much more than a bed at night. You are giving them the chance to have a brighter future. A gift of $6,500 will fully fund Rights of Passage for 24 hours. Best of all, donations to the campaign will be matched, dollar-for-dollar so your gift of $6,500 doubles to $13,000 and a full 48 hours of care.
Please stand with Covenant House Vancouver this winter, as we support the dedicated young men and women in our Rights of Passage program as their journey towards independence. 
If you would like to learn more about Rights of Passage or about our Give a Day, Build a Life Campaign please contact Jessica Harman at or call (604) 639-8925.

give a day build a life poster

We are excited for the Ride for Refuge in support of Covenant House

Tomorrow on October 4th, Covenant House Vancouver is participating in the Ride for Refuge, a non-competitive bicycling fundraiser. Covenant House is one of over 180 participating charities focused on helping those who are displaced, vulnerable or who have been exploited.

Our team the Covenant House Cruisers have been training hard and doing lots of fundraising but we still need your support. We are so close to reaching our goal of raising $6000.00 so please donate to one of our team members or write a note of encouragement on fundraising page.

Simply click the link to help:

For more information or if you have questions, please contact:

Mark Savard
Development Officer – Community Giving
Covenant House Vancouver
604-639-8922 (direct)

i ride because i care


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