Mentoring and life skills help Lee get back on track

Lee came to Covenant House Vancouver from Alberta. He found himself evicted because somewhat of a recession had hit Alberta with regards to the oil and gas industry and he couldn’t afford his rent. He did not save any money although he had a good paying job.  He took what money he had left and used it for a Greyhound ticket to BC with the hopes of finding a good job here.

It was very apparent from Lee’s first intake with a youth worker at our Crisis Program that he needed help with some basic life skills especially budgeting. Lee was a really good example of how sometimes youth get good opportunities but don’t know how to manage them.  His upbringing was not pleasant and as such he never thought about long term, just living his life day by day.

I hear people on social media and in my own life say the homeless need jobs, everything will be better if they just get a job. In truth a job does help, it helps boost their self-esteem, it gives them something to look forward to and have pride in. It helps bring stability into their lives. Unfortunately, the job itself does not fix the underlying issues that have resulted in the young person being homeless and in some cases it exacerbates them. At Covenant House we try to see the bigger picture – the “long term” that Lee had no experience with.

Lee’s stay with us was very productive and he stayed with us for about a month before he found employment back in Alberta. During the short time he stayed with us we were able to help him look at the long term. Helped him focus on SMART goal setting and budgeting so the next time something like this happens he would be better prepared and not find himself in another shelter.

I was happy with the work that we did with Lee. A genuinely nice kid who was not given a fair shake in life as a youngster but still persevered through hard work. Add some proper mentoring and life skills to the mix and he is better prepared for what the world will throw at him.

Shared by Team Leader, Darrick