Once in a while, the youngest of our youth surprise me with just how wise they can be and remind me how important their innocence and perseverance can be. Noah, a 16 year old boy came to our Crisis Shelter after his caregivers could no longer provide him with the care he needed and were not sure how to handle his behavior. After spending a week in our Shelter, Noah shared with me that his drug use in the past was a way to cope with the stress of being bullied in school for his accent which also led him to not being able to sleep. He noted that the drugs helped him with that too. Instead of getting into fights, he de-escalated by using and that was the only way he knew how to cope.
Since coming to Covenant House, Noah has decided on his own accord that he wants to find a new job that is away from his old place of employment so that his old "crowd" cannot find out where he is and get him back into the trouble he once was in. Through his employment, he also plans to find a place to live close to home and again away from the bad influences that once got him into the situation he is in now so his parents can support him as he also goes to school. And as if that wasn't enough to leave me stunned, he let me know how thankful he was that he decided on Covenant House over an underage shelter because the friends he has made so far are older and more mature which has been a relief to him.
Sometimes in our work, we can forget the resilience that is under those layers built to protect them against what they have been through and when those layers are removed, it is such a beautiful thing.