“Am I doing good?” – A young man learns about appropriate conversations

We have recently become acquainted with a young man named “John”. He experiences many challenges with his mental health, has an addiction and has developmental difficulties. He also comes to us with a very challenging history with his family which has left him with Post Traumatic Stress. He is so loud his voice fills the room and he is so full of energy he practically bounces off the walls!

The first few days, he really struggled in the shelter with keeping his conversations with other co-residents appropriate in common spaces.  He would only tell stories about himself that were about violence, crime, and drug use. One night I was sitting next to him while he was talking to his sister on the phone. Suddenly in the middle of his conversation he covered the receiver and asked, “Blaine? Am I doing good? I’m trying to be respectful and keeping a good tone.” I was so proud to tell him that he was doing a great job and I could tell that that meant a lot to him.

John often says some pretty precious things that often brighten my day. Although he has had many struggles since being in shelter, he continues to work with the staff at Covenant House. Despite his own disbelief, he has been with us for weeks now and has exceeded our expectations in terms of what we thought his stay here would be like. It is so amazing that even with the tough cards he has been dealt in his life; John can come into this program and work it to the very best of his abilities.