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Hal shines when he is given the chance he deserves

“Hal” grew up on Vancouver Island where he was raised by his great aunt and uncle. Before coming to us he was living with his grandmother who he has a great relationship with. The issue was that she lives in supportive housing and they only allow one resident to live there. When Hal came to Covenant House, we were told that he was very low functioning and possibly had FASD. He came to the Crisis Program on probation and his probation officer reiterated these concerns. The probation officer stated that his functioning is so low that it would be impossible for him to keep a job. She recommended cooking group and making sure he attends probation appointments.

When I first got acquainted with “Hal” he seemed somewhat low functioning. However, he quickly accomplished all the tasks set out for him including getting his birth certificate, connecting with a Career Zone case manager, and following his plan as well as any other resident does, if not better. Through my interactions with “Hal” I began to doubt other people’s suspicions of his abilities and decided that I would continue to treat him like any other youth and not doubt his ability to handle having a job.

 It was with this attitude that I pushed him to follow-up with employers he was interested in until he finally landed an interview for a dishwashing job at a well-known East Vancouver restaurant. After a successful interview he was given some training shifts which he did well at and eventually landed the job. “Hal” has now been working at this job for a few weeks with no sign of quitting. He enjoys the job and it does not seem like it is beyond his physical and mental abilities. While a dishwashing job may seem like no great feat for most people, in this case it represents how encouragement and support can help to overcome doubts held by individuals and those around them.

Through this experience “Hal” has taught me that to judge someone based on other people’s expectations is to not give them the benefit of the doubt. One must truly push an individual to do all they can do before setting a bar for them. As “Hal” continues to reach higher, my goals for other youth become less dictated by potential barriers.

Help more youth like Hal get the chance they deserve. Donate Today

Image of "Hal" 

September 9th is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day  is observed every year by people around the world to raise awareness of the danger of drinking during pregnancy. September 9th signifies the 9th day of the 9th month of the year where the world will remember that during the 9 months of pregnancy, there is no safe amount or time to drink alcohol.

Covenant House Vancouver is no stranger to  FAS/FASD  as we have worked with many youth over the years that are affected by it. FASD is an umbrella term used to describe a number of birth defects caused by mothers who consumed alcohol during pregnancy, which can result in damage to a child’s central nervous system.

Some of the behavioural issues that affect those with FASD are immature or inappropriate behaviour, poor judgement, impulse control problems and memory deficits. As you can guess, the transition from youth to independent adult can be especially difficult for those with FAS/FASD.

We are fortunate to have a strong team of mental health clinicians and youth workers that are able to recognize FASD and have the skills to work with those young people affected by it.

To learn more about FASD/FAS click here and here.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

Seeking volunteers for our new Mentorship Program

•             Are you looking to make a difference in the life of a youth?

•             Are you established in your career and able to offer career and educational focused support?

•             Are you able to commit to at least one year and willing to attend an orientation and training?

If so, then please fill out an  application . Applications can be submitted to the Mentorship Coordinator Lisa M. at, by fax to 604-647-4484, or in person to 326 West. Pender St.

** If you are a youth in need of a mentor please contact Lisa M. at    to find out more!

Mentor quotes 

Have a great Labour Day long weekend!

From all of us at Covenant House Vancouver we wish you a fun and relaxing Labour Day long weekend!

If you are a youth in need of assistance over the long weekend call our youth workers toll free at 1-877-685-7474.

Enjoy your weekend and we will be back on Tuesday!

Happy labour Day 

Does cycling, walking, being outdoors with friends & family while supporting a deserving charity MOVE you?

We invite you to create a team and join us in the Ride for Refuge for Covenant House Vancouver!

On October 3rd 2015, Covenant House Vancouver is once again participating in the Ride for Refuge, a non-competitive bicycling and walking fundraiser (5 km walk added this year). Covenant House is one of over 180 participating charities focused on helping displaced, vulnerable and exploited people.  The Vancouver ride is located in Richmond (no hills!), but there are a number of ride locations to choose from.

If you’d like to fundraise and ride for Covenant House (as a team captain or team member) please visit the Ride for Refuge website.  Don’t forget to choose Covenant House Vancouver as your charity of choice when setting up your team and opt to fundraise rather than pay the registration fee.  More information is also available in a brochure  here.

The Ride for Refuge website is a one-stop-shop for all your planning and fundraising needs:

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

Mark Savard 
Jen Moric 

Ride for refuge logo 

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