Smiling not only on the outside, but from the inside as well!

For “Jared”, today was a tough day. It is welfare day, a day often fraught with many urges to buy and use drugs and/or alcohol. Today, many of Jared’s friends are busy spending their money, using many substances and doing all they can to have everyone join in with them. On this day there is usually energy in the air as some of the youth in the shelter anticipate the mere $235.00 they will receive for the month from Income Assistance. This causes a lot of them anxiety, as at Covenant House, they are asked to save a good portion of their money and for most of them the idea of saving vs. impulsively spending is hard.

Today, Jared decided to sleep in, which is different than his usual routine which has almost always been to be up and ready to go by the time I arrive to work at 7:00am. Eventually when Jared did wake up today and got himself ready, he did not seem to have the same urgency as most Income Assistance days. After finishing his breakfast he asked to check in with me so we could chat about his plans for the day. Jared went on to state how he wanted to make different choices today with his money and wanted to do the right thing. I encouraged him to make healthy decisions before he left and let him know that no matter what decisions he made he was cared about by Covenant House. Later on that day Jared returned to the shelter and came straight to the office. He desperately wanted to speak to the team leader so that he could hand in his money.

Today was the first time ever that Jared had picked up his cheque, cashed it and brought every last penny back to be handed in. He also came back sober, without smoking any marijuana, another huge accomplishment for Jared! He seemed so proud of himself for making different choices today and for showing us, and himself that he could do it! Today Jared gave us another reason to help him celebrate and acknowledge a change that he had made to do something different. As a co-worker and I applauded him for his good decisions, Jared seemed to smile not only on the outside, but from the inside as well!

managing money clip art