They really are listening, learning and growing!

As a part-time youth worker who works only on occasion at Covenant House, it can be difficult to feel involved in the youth’s day to day lives. Sometimes I arrive in the shelter after a few weeks off, only to find the person that I have worked so hard to keep on track has left the shelter, ready to face the world on their own once again, and I can only hope they have the right supports in place to keep them safe and away from a life on the street.

Today while working in the back of the house, there was a call for me to come to the front reception desk.  Before I had time to respond, I was beckoned once again, and was frantically asked to come to the front.  Quickly, I dashed through the kitchen and bee-lined it for the reception area.  I opened the door, only to find one of my former youth who had moved on some time ago standing at the reception desk with a big smirk on his face!

At first I tried pretending that I was mad- having rushed so fast, but it turned out this youth knew me and my humour all too well, and knew that would be something I would have done!  After laughing about that, he proceeded to tell me about his new life in North Vancouver, and the ways he has since changed his outlook on life, all while continuously working on strengthening the bonds with his family that he had once pushed so far away.

As a part-time youth worker who works only on occasion at Covenant House, it can be difficult to feel involved in the youth’s day to day lives. Sometimes I arrive in the shelter after a few weeks off, only to find the person that I have worked so hard to keep on track has left the shelter, ready to face the world on their own once again, and I can only hope they have the right supports in place to keep them safe and away from a life on the street.

Today while working in the back of the house, there was a call for me to come to the front reception desk.  Before I had time to respond, I was beckoned once again, and was frantically asked to come to the front.  Quickly, I dashed through the kitchen and bee-lined it for the reception area.  I opened the door, only to find one of my former youth who had moved on some time ago standing at the reception desk with a big smirk on his face!

At first I tried pretending that I was mad- having rushed so fast, but it turned out this youth knew me and my humour all too well, and knew that would be something I would have done!  After laughing about that, he proceeded to tell me about his new life in North Vancouver, and the ways he has since changed his outlook on life, all while continuously working on strengthening the bonds with his family that he had once pushed so far away.

Seeing him showed me that no matter how challenging a youth can be to work with during their stay; they really are listening, learning, and growing. Taking a step back and looking at their individual progression over the days, weeks, months (or even years) allow youth and staff alike to appreciate all the long term benefits that Covenant House is bringing to Vancouver’s homeless youth.