Jill is a youth staying with us in the Shelter that came from Winnipeg on a journey looking for a fresh start. Since arriving she has experienced a range of emotions about leaving home and becoming homeless. She has had feelings of loneliness, regret, fear and anxiety. She arrived at our Shelter quite defeated and sad at how things were going for her.
Within a few days after arriving, she began to open up and become less guarded, talking/sharing more with staff and making friends with the co-residents. Through some support, she even began attending some social outings and community workshops. One week after arriving in our Shelter, she decided she was going to stay in Vancouver and give it a try. Shortly after this decision, Jill resourcefully found a daycare to volunteer at since she had wanted to become a teacher for so long and also spoke about plans to go to college in the future.
This decision was made after she sought out support from her First Nations Band, who let Jill know that they might be able to financially help her to make her teaching dreams become a reality. Jill also found two jobs as she worked on learning to support herself, which made for a very busy schedule. She managed to balance both jobs, volunteer and save up for a place of her own while staying in Shelter.
Seeing the look on Jill’s face as she proudly shows staff how much she has in her savings every week is a sight to see. Another amazing transformation we have seen with Jill is the natural leadership role she has taken on with new residents in Shelter. She has been quick to befriend and take others under her wing, showing them around downtown and taking them with her to her community workshops. Jill reminds me of why the little things matter in our relationship with our youth and how empowering we as youth workers can be when we can just stop and listen to what they need.