Why We’re Here… A Reminder

There are definitely moments that remind us all why we became youth workers. I was at the front desk and a youth walked in looking a little flustered and confused; he was looking for a place to stay. He came in asking what kind of place this was and didn’t really know what else he wanted. After speaking with him for a while, he told me that he had been in an unsafe situation at home and he didn’t really want to tell me where home was at that point.

There are definitely moments that remind us all why we became youth workers. I was at the front desk and a youth walked in looking a little flustered and confused; he was looking for a place to stay. He came in asking what kind of place this was and didn’t really know what else he wanted. After speaking with him for a while, he told me that he had been in an unsafe situation at home and he didn’t really want to tell me where home was at that point.

He said that he’d been on the streets for about a week and he was 13 years old. As we got him some food, he became a little bit more comfortable. He warmed up a bit. I found out that he had had his shoes stolen a couple of days ago. He had wrapped his t-shirt around his foot to try to use it as a shoe to protect his feet because they were so cold. He told me how he had to stop sometimes and just hold his feet with his hands to warm them up. So we got him a new pair of shoes, a warm jacket, and some more food and slowly he opened up a little bit more and became even more comfortable.

What he disclosed to me was that his father had abused him and he had left home because he just couldn’t take it anymore. So we phoned the Ministry and a social worker arrived and he ended up phoning home to tell them he was okay, you know, but that he wasn’t going to be coming back there right now. We found him a safe place to stay for the night (we can only intake youth as young as 16) and he was very grateful, saying that if he ever ends up making a lot of money that he’s going to buy this place a foose-ball table because he was so grateful.

So, yeah, it really reminded me what we’re here for.