Despite Michelle’s plan to not “let us in” she built meaningful relationships with Covenant House

I remember when Michelle first came to Covenant House she had complex issues and as a result needed to leave her living situation. In her first couple of days at our Crisis Program, we watched Michelle struggle to adjust to being in a new environment and we notice some serious mental health concerns. As we got to know Michelle she began to learn what she could expect from us and our program and she slowly became more comfortable. We watched her open up to youth workers as well as other girls in the program.

Michelle, who was highly anxious and suicidal, began to laugh and joke and was able to overcome many difficult experiences and situations on her own, using her own skills. Michelle spent several holidays in the Crisis Program and in every one would write a letter to all of the youth workers letting us know how grateful she was to have us during these difficult times. It was clear that Michelle was forming a healthy attachment to Covenant House and beginning to trust that we cared about her and were not going to give up on her.

Michelle and I worked through many challenging times together as well as shared many positive and special moments. Through these experiences, Michelle and I formed a close, meaningful relationship.

On the day before Michelle was scheduled to move to a specialized long-term program I was joking with her in our living space, as humor was something we often bonded over. Michelle initially laughed very hard, but then moments later came up to me crying. She immediately told me that she wasn’t crying because of what we had joked about (as she could see the look of panic on my face), and described that she was crying because she realized how much she was going to miss everyone at Covenant House Vancouver.

Michelle explained that when she first came to Covenant House she had a plan in her mind to not “let us in” and to not form any relationships with us, as she had been let down so many times before in her life. She said that she wasn’t able to do this, and that she did form relationships with the staff and other youth and now knows that we would always have her back. When Michelle said this to me it brought tears to my eyes as I realized the huge impact that Covenant House has on the youth who we serve.

All of the moments, big and small, that we have with the youth allow us to form connections that are significant and meaningful and I feel honoured to have supported Michelle on her journey.

Your gift today will have a vital impact on youth, like Michelle, in desperate need of support. Our $100,000 TRIPLE Matching Gift Challenge ends on December 31st!