“Thank you for caring about me more than I care about myself”

Don has stayed with us a dozen or so times over the past year. Don struggles with substance use, something that has impacted his life more and more over the past year. In recent months, Don hasn’t been able to stay with us more than a few days, since he often doesn’t return to the Crisis Program after he uses substances. He has tried going to detox and treatment, but he struggles to get and stay clean.

One evening, Don came to the front desk and wanted to speak with staff. I went down to speak with him, and immediately noticed a change in his physical appearance. He looked skinnier and had some telltale signs of drug use. He explained he had been living outside recently, and that his use had escalated significantly – he was now injecting fentanyl daily. He expressed a desire to get clean, and seemed disappointed in himself that he relapsed yet again. I was able to set him up with some clean clothes, dinner and hygiene supplies. I offered him a bed in our Crisis Program, but he declined, saying he respected the program too much to use while staying with us. I let him know he was always welcome to come stay with us when he is ready. As he was getting set to go, Don became teary-eyed, and said “thank you for caring about me more than I care about myself”.

While Don did not feel ready to stay in our residential program, the gesture of giving him dinner and some clothes showed him that he is important, cared for and that he is always welcome at Covenant House.

Shared by Ashley, Team Leader at our Male Crisis Program