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A note of thanks from Sister Nancy Brown

Dear  Friends of  Covenant  House  Vancouver,

I am truly thankful for you.

You make it possible for us to show suffering young people God’s love with a hot meal, a safe place to sleep, and even just a pair of shoes and socks.

That’s all a young boy wanted from us the rainy night he came through our doors. His were riddled with gaping holes.

We gave him fresh socks and shoes . . . and told him we would be here to give him comfort, and guidance, and the love he deserved.

He was like so many kids on the streets – young, frightened, and very alone. They are utterly desperate for a kind hand and a caring heart.

You give them that. And I can’t thank you enough.

God bless you,
Sister Nancy Brown Signature  
Sister Nancy Brown, S.C., OBC 

Thank you image

Youth workers thank our Kitchen Team for making Cooking Group a success

A letter of thanks to our kitchen staff from Lindie and the Drake Crisis Program Youth Workers:

Cooking Group has been wildly successful at our Drake Crisis Program in the past 10 months. At first, it was just “Cooking with Casey”, a trademark activity so popular that a youth in shelter painted a small canvas with those words on it. The canvas is hanging on the inspiration wall to be seen just as you enter our girl’s Crisis Program. Since then, other kitchen staff have joined in on the fun as well and each member of the kitchen team gives the group a different flavour.

Chef Monica is very detailed in her approach, always printing out enough recipes for all those who attend so they can take it with them afterward. A lot of practical skills are learned in Monica’s cooking class: knife handling, measuring, converting recipes etc. Although Monica always starts with a recipe, she also shows the youth how to problem solve when things don’t match the paper, all the while with a joke and a smile that make the youth feel comfortable.

Chef Francisco, our newest addition to Cooking Group, makes downright delicious food. He is very calm and patient while leading the class and helps the youth to understand why different vegetables make food taste a certain way. He teaches the youth how to be efficient and make tasty meals.

Chef Casey brings a youthful energy when she leads the class, giving the youth many choices before and during the class about what they are cooking and how they will do it. She encourages music to be playing and engages the youth in positive conversations while cooking. She remembers the things the youth have said to her previously and follows up with them. This forges a bond with the youth and keeps them coming back. Casey often makes fun, popular food like cupcakes, nachos, pizza and countless other dishes. Two weekends ago, Casey went all out. We called it Cooking Group Special Edition. That day, we made chicken stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon and on the side, a homemade delicious potato salad. It was special, and the youth learned how to make something easy but elegant.

Cooking class has no doubt been a lot of work for the kitchen staff to take on and all the youth workers know how much extra effort you put in. We know you sometimes have to stay late because the group went too long or the other tasks fell behind. We appreciate you so much for taking the time out of your day to help the youth learn practical skills around preparing food and having fun while doing so. This teaches the youth that cooking can be non-intimidating and fun. In the future this will help them to make the choice to save money. Cooking Group is also a source of Sanctuary, as we all know weekends can be a really temping time for youth to leave the Crisis Program and engage in less healthy activities.  Having the structure of Cooking Group every week has become a constant for the youth, they ask in advance… “What are we making this week?!” 

Thank you for all that you do, we appreciate you!

Image of chicken stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon and on the side, a homemade delicious potato salad

Hannah was ready to make some changes in her life

Since becoming a full time youth worker at Covenant House, I have been working with Hannah on and off. Hannah was a youth that often seemed to find our Crisis Program structure and expectations to be quite frustrating.  As we got to know each other better, I found it easier to communicate with Hannah. As with many youth, humor was a great way to address her when she was frustrated or angry.  Hannah tended to get particularly frustrated during conversations related to her goals for her stay and reviewing the principles here at Covenant House.

On a more recent stay of Hannah’s, I can recall meeting with her to review the daily structure and expectations for her time in our Crisis Program which is something that we do with all of our youth at the beginning of their stay. Historically, this conversation had been a struggle for Hannah to sit through. This time however, the conversation went in a new direction. Hannah spoke excitedly about the principles with me and asked lots of questions. Hannah then began to explain to me that she was ready to make some changes in her life and was sick of doing things the same way she had in past. Her face lit up as she explained his to me. I had never before heard her speak so passionately.

The process of change is a long one, and one that is not easy. I can’t say what the future holds for Hannah or how long it will take her to meet the goals that she spoke of. That being said, to hear Hannah look to the future and speak of change was something to celebrate in and of itself. I am excited to continue to support her and see what the future holds. 

5 Core principles at Covenant House

Choice is one of our five core principles

Choice - Young people often feel powerless to control their lives. They fall into a self-defeating cycle of failure. We encourage our youth to make serious choices about their futures. They must choose to change, believe they can make it, to believe that tomorrow can be better.

You can help our young people have a better  tomorrow. Give Today

Choice is one of our five core principles  

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