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TELUS Green Team donates Harvests to Covenant House

The new TELUS Garden building on Georgia Street boasts a beautiful rooftop vegetable garden.  The garden is maintained by the TELUS Green Team, a group of TELUS employees who volunteer their time to sow, weed, and water the garden.  The Community Garden provides a great opportunity for the Green Team to learn how to grow food in a small space, and also incorporates the TELUS 3 Pillars of Health: Active Living, Wise Nutrition, and Mental Resiliency.  In addition to investing in their own health, TELUS employees are also investing in their community’s health by donating their harvests to the young people at Covenant House!

Throughout the growing season this year, the TELUS Green Team will donate the vegetables grown in their Community Garden to Covenant House.  Last week, we were lucky enough to take part in a gardening workshop at TELUS Gardens and brought a bounty of delicious spring vegetables back to our kitchen.  Later that night, our young people feasted on a huge, fresh, organic salad.

People with unstable housing or no home at all often don’t have the opportunity to eat well balanced meals, especially vegetables.  Our young people will very much appreciate your gift of fresh vegetables all summer long- thank you TELUS Green Team!

TELUS Rooftop Vegetable Garden

TELUS Rooftop Vegetable Garden

Salad made from donated TELUS Garden Veggies
Salad  made  from  donated  veggies!
 

It’s time to #BuckUp for Mental Health with Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Join Vancouver Whitecaps FC as they take on Houston Dynamo today at BC Place and be sure to bring a dollar!

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.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have been raising funds in support of Covenant House Vancouver throughout the month of May and there is still time to help:

  • Donate online at whitecapsfc.com/buckup. Club ambassador Y.P. Lee has committed to matching online donations up to $12,000.  Anyone who donates over $50 online gets entered into a draw to WIN a pair of round trip tickets to anywhere WestJet flies!
  • Bid on an auction item or experience.  View items and place your bids online here.
  • Bring at least one dollar to today’s match when the ‘Caps take on Houston Dynamo at BC Place. Click here to buy tickets for the match.
  • Spread the word via social media by sharing the #BuckUp video or re-tweeting.
     
It’s time to #BuckUp for Mental Health! Let’s go Whitecaps!

In a critical moment Tyrone gets the mental health help he needs

I work as a Team Leader for Covenant House on the graveyard shift in our Crisis Program. In the early morning hours I found a youth by the name of Tyrone sitting in the dark in the common area with his head in his hands. Tyrone was rubbing his forehead and covering his eyes in a rhythmic, methodical motion. I sat down, asked him if he was alright and Tyrone replied “I think I’m having a mental breakdown”.

I asked Tyrone what he meant by a mental breakdown and he said “Staff are out to get me”. Tyrone went on explain that he hasn't been able to sleep for a long time because he is afraid people, both staff and youth are conspiring against him. I searched for an answer to why he felt this way. I asked some leading questions to get him to open up and he explained in a paranoid delusional string of sentences that staff want him gone and that people are laughing at him.

Tyrone observed staff laughing together in the office earlier that night and he asked with utmost certainty if staff were laughing at him. I assured Tyrone that staff were not laughing at him, that it had nothing to do with him. Tyrone asked “What were you laughing at then?” I disclosed that there was a youth that took a large amount of blankets and made a fort in his room with them and staff found a good amount of humor in that situation. Tyrone eyes went wild with excitement and he was staunch with his reply “Wow, you came up with that lie pretty quick didn’t you! I know staff are out to get me.”

I realized right then that Tyrone was either at the breaking point or in full paranoia so I made a verbal agreement with him that he would go to St Paul’s Hospital to see a Psychiatric Nurse. Even though Tyrone agreed to this he was having a hard time believing that I wanted to send him to the hospital to support him, not to send him away so he would lose his bed at Covenant House. Tyrone would agree that he needed help then revert to a state of questioning my intentions. I did eventually get him to the hospital and he was admitted, kept for 5 days to get stabilized and returned to the Crisis Program with a discharge report clearing him to be able to reside in a group setting. Tyrone went on to stay with us for a little over a month and then was able to get into supported housing.

Tyrone is an individual who had a mental break while he was residing at Covenant House Vancouver. I wonder what would have happened to him if he wasn’t here to get the proper supports he needed. Where would he have ended up or how long would his mental health have declined before he got to see a Psychiatric Nurse? I’m grateful that Tyrone was here in that critical moment and that we were able to transition him into supported housing. How amazing is that! 

Picture of young man in conversation with youth worker

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