Housing Matters

Our Housing Support Workers help youth find and hold on to safe & affordable housing. They also provide life skills, in home supports and help them set up & feel good about their new home.

Below is a story shared by one of our housing workers highlighting the work they do and how you can support this program:

A young couple recently approached me asking for help.  They were living in a Single Room Occupancy Hotel in Vancouver’s downtown east side and they wanted out.  They wanted to get away from the drugs and the violence and chaos.  They wanted to improve their lives and they felt that doing so would be difficult without finding a safe place to live.

We talked about their budget and their employment goals.  This helped to determine how much they could afford to pay in rent and narrowed the search to ideal locations near transit.  We coached them on how to call a landlord, what to ask and how to set up viewing times.  We used our van to escort them to half a dozen viewings.  During the drives they talked openly about their hopes and dreams.  He had been out of work for the past few weeks due to a slow period.  She was working temporary labor jobs but hoping to find something permanent.  They admitted they were nervous that landlords might judge them because they were in receipt of income assistance.  We encouraged them to be honest and emphasized that being on income assistance was nothing to be ashamed of.

The hard work paid off and we helped them find a place!  A lovely one bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a house.  The landlord was awesome.  She even offered us snacks and drinks while filling out the tenancy agreement!

On move in day we provided them with a start-up kit consisting plates and bowls and cups and cutlery, towels and bedding and almost everything that is needed to turn a house into a home.  They know they can call us for housing support or life skills enhancement such as budgeting, meal planning, cooking skills or just about anything else anytime.

To learn more about or Housing Program and our Housing Support Workers click here. If you have an apartment for rent or you know of someone who is renting out an apartment, and you want to help, please contact Covenant House’s housing workers at 604-880-8439.

picture of volunteer helping youth