When Andrew first stared accessing the Crisis Program, he had a rough start. Andrew grew up in foster care and lived in a variety of group homes and did not have a lot of stability in his life. Andrew struggled interacting with both staff and co-residents, often coming across as disrespectful and intimidating. Due to these behaviours, Andrew was asked to leave the program a couple of times. Covenant House Vancouver provides stability and structure for our youth which includes addressing behaviours that are not appropriate and fostering a respectful environment for all.
After a break Andrew returned to our Crisis Program. Despite Andrew’s tough exterior, staff were persistent in trying to relationship build with him, letting him know they staff wanted him to stay in our program, and working to strategize ways to manage his behaviour.
After his first couple of stays, staff noticed that he started to interact more and more. He would crack jokes, come into the office to chat, and share personal information about his background. Andrew slowly started to come out of his shell, which gave staff a lot of insight into his behaviours. When he first came to Covenant House, Andrew did not trust staff, as he hadn’t had the opportunity to build trusting relationships with adult caregivers in his life.
The difference from when Andrew first came to us and now is like night and day. Andrew has since connected with our Mental Health Team and has developed a strong support network. Andrew has shown that he’s much more open to working with staff and has learned to channel his frustrations in more positive ways. While there are still bumps in the road, a lot of progress has been made towards developing appropriate coping skills and building healthy relationships.
Shared by Ashley, Team Leader at our Crisis Program