Rick slowly opens up and begins to transform his life

When Rick first came to Covenant House Vancouver, he was very quiet and did not say much. Checking in with him daily was always very brief and he seemed uncomfortable talking about his feelings. Rick struggled with alcohol and had a history of being aggressive when he drank.

As time went on Rick clearly enjoyed being out and about and always took part in weekend activities (he loved being active). There were a couple of times when Rick had to be reminded to “try and hurry up and be out of his room” or asked to wait a few minutes when staff were busy and that was something Rick didn’t like. At first, there was a grumpy comment or Rick would get angry and become very defensive but as time went on, he was calmer and more patient.

Rick returned to school again and continued with his soccer, jujitsu, boxing, and many other activities. Rick now felt comfortable talking to me about how he was feeling and decided he was interested in counselling. These small steps such as talking to someone about how you felt was huge for Rick and it was clear he was making progress at Covenant House. Rick also reconnected with his parents and spent a few weekends visiting with them. After nearly seven months at Covenant House, Rick came to tell me one morning that he was leaving the Crisis Program. Immediately I tried to think what I could do to support him to stay, but as I spoke with Rick, he had decided he wanted to try living with his parents.

This was a positive decision. When I look back to the first couple of weeks when Rick came to us, I see how much progress he has made. I’m happy knowing how well he has done and he only has himself to thank for that. As he was packing to leave, I asked if there was anything else I could do to help. He said “No, but I want to thank you for everything. I would give you a hug, but I know that wouldn’t be appropriate” and at that moment I felt so proud of Rick. From coming into the Crisis Program as an angry person to wanting to hug me as a way to say thank you really melted my heart.

Shared by Youth Worker, Maeve