Determined to break away from…

In about July of last year a young man named Arcott came to us from Prince Edward Island. He had been hitchhiking across Canada for over two months with one solitary goal in mind, but we can get to that later.  From the first moment, Arcott approached us for an intake you could see a sense of purpose and hope not common to most young people in a place of needing shelter and sanctuary.  However, Arcott seemed different, he seemed determined. Determined to break away from the reality that was his upbringing in the foster care system. Determined to break away from the path of addiction and criminality set before him by his biological family. And determined to break free from his own anxiety and inability to truly care for himself. Armed with a positive outlook and a good work ethic it took Arcott less than 48 hours to find a good painting job, which in itself was a feat so rare amongst our clientele that all of the staff couldn’t help but appreciate this young man’s drive.

Over the next few weeks, it started to become apparent that Arcott was working as hard as he could to avoid dealing with his problems.  He went to work sick, he went to work tired, and he refused to quit when things weren’t going his way. After the inevitable crash and emotional breakdown came to fruition for Arcott, he quickly began to come to staff for support and to ask us from the bottom of his heart how he could better take care of himself and avoid breakdowns.

Although it took a little while, eventually Arcott began to cut himself some slack, which in turn lead to many of our staff gaining some much appreciated gratitude for the opportunities we often have to be the person (commonly, the first person) that gives these young folks a break. To say Arcott took advantage of his opportunity for improving his self-awareness and giving himself a break would be an understatement.  Arcott listened to our advice, took a few weeks off to evaluate his circumstances and then jumped on the next good opportunity presented to him. Arcott filled out an application we gave to him for a work program up at Whistler. After a touchingly honest letter to the head of the program, and a good interview, he is now working full time in Whistler and earning the money necessary to complete that aforementioned solitary goal from the start of his travels.

At the end of this ski/snowboard season Arcott will finally be able to go to Longbeach, Tofino on Vancouver Island and combine the sand he brought with him from Prince Edward Island with the sand from the West Coast. When that day comes, we here at Covenant House can take pride in knowing that the next young person in need of a break from people that care about them, and an opportunity to complete their goals, is likely already waiting in our lobby for an intake.

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