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There is still time to make a donation in honour of Valentine’s Day

You can show your loved ones how much you care this Valentine's Day by making an in honour donation to Covenant House Vancouver! Not only will you help a young person in need, your Valentine will get an online or paper card notifying them of your donation and you will get a tax receipt. It's a triple win - our youth, your loved one and you!

An in honour Valentine's Day Card can be e-mailed or mailed to your loved one.

Donate online here or call 604-638-GIFT (4438).

happy valentines day

It's amazing the effect one volunteer and one haircut can have on the life of a youth

Josephine is a quiet girl, anxious and introverted. On this particular day in the Crisis Shelter we had a volunteer hairdresser coming in to cut youth's hair - a rare treat for many of the youth. When I asked Josephine if she was interested in getting her hair cut her eyes lit up and she smiled at me. She didn't say anything right away, but I could tell she was very excited about this opportunity. A few seconds later Josephine said "that's great, it's been a while". Then the girly youth worker in me came out and I asked what type of haircut she had in mind. Josephine said she always dreamed of having a short bob. I encouraged her to go for it and try it out. Josephine and I then went on the computer and looked for hairstyles she liked. Together we printed out a small stack of ideas she had for her new haircut. She became livelier and more engaged than I'd ever seen her. She was giggling and searching through dozens of possible options. She finally settled on a picture and lined up for the hairdresser. Twenty minutes later she came out looking completely different. I could tell from her face that she was so excited. It's amazing the effect one volunteer and one haircut can have on the life of a youth.

girl getting a hair cut

Help Covenant House be the family our youth need & deserve

A family does many things. It provides basic needs, educates and instills value and identity. But most importantly, it provides love. The young people we see at Covenant House have often grown up without loving parents and have begun their lives without the safety and security most of us take for granted.

This month we celebrate Family Day, a day dedicated to sharing time with the ones we love and who love us. What about youth who don’t have a loving family with whom to spend the day? For many of our youth, we are their family. We are the ones that provide their basic needs, educate them and instill value and identity. We care for them the way our parents cared for us.

Our job at Covenant House is to be a reminder of hope and possibility - to present these damaged and broken young people with a way off the streets and show them the road to health, happiness and a future that is theirs to choose. We are honoured to be the family these young people need and deserve.

As we celebrate this Family Day in honour of those we care about, please consider giving a gift so that we can continue to be the family our youth need and deserve. 

quote from youth about family

A window of opportunity

One of the services we offer to the youth here at Covenant House is “Brief Services”; they take place at our Drake reception area. Brief Services provide youth not currently in Shelter with warm soup, dry socks and personal hygiene products. We have a chance to talk with the youth and in some cases it is just a quick hello, and we tell them to stay safe and away they go. Other times youth want to spend some time talking and sharing as they stand at the counter eating their soup and warming up.

It was on a cold night that a male who had come in a few times before and is generally one of the just a quick hi and stay safe kind of youth, appeared to want to chat more than usual. As he stood their eating his soup he started to talk about the weather and how cold it is outside. He went on to tell me how much he really appreciated the hot soup and that this was the first hot meal he had eaten in days. He stated that he had moved to Vancouver a few months ago and was out of money and he indicated that he would really like to go home but didn’t know how he could manage that. He had not talked to his mom in a few weeks and was feeling sad. I spoke with the Team Leader on shift and it was decided we would help the youth to call home and talk to his mom. When he got off the phone he had a renewed sense of emotions. His mom was going to try and get him an airline ticket home.  He asked me if there was any way he could possibly call his mom another time to work out the ticket home. I gave him the number and drop in times for Community Support Service (Drop-In & Outreach) and told him that they would be able to assist him with this.

A few nights later the youth came back into Drake reception and stated that he was flying home to Ontario the next day and wanted to know if he could get clean socks and underwear, which we were happy to provide. This youth then thanked Covenant House for being here and stated that we have no idea how much we had assisted him. He stated that if he could one day he would repay us for the services; I informed the youth that this was not necessary but thanked him for his kind words. The youth then went on his way.

Providing Brief Services allows us to start the relationship building process with youth; often there is a short window of opportunity with young people and if we can help them right in that moment it can make a huge difference. What started with a warm bowl of soup & a phone call became an opportunity to have a young man reconnect with his mom and return home safely.

window of oppertunity

These are the things that bring tears to my eyes...

I just wanted to share with everyone …

"Today while working at Drake reception I had a young family come in and they had 2 young boys (ages 4/8).

The 8 year old just had his birthday and requested his friends and family not bring gifts but instead donate to CHV. He brought in an envelope with 265 dollars!! He said the total was a little over 300 but some people donated online. These are the things that bring tears to my eyes and show me strength in the generation who will soon be our leaders. Thanks so much to this young man. He also drove in with his family from delta for their weekend outing just to bring it in. Way to go little man!!! I can only hope I raise my son to be as kind hearted as you! " – Sarah

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