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Lily’s rock bottom came from losing her best friend to an overdose…

For some people, coming to Covenant House Vancouver means change. Often times this isn’t a one try process.

Lily first came to us after staying at another line up shelter where the conditions were far different to our Crisis Program. She told us stories we hear all too often about sleeping on mats surrounded by strangers who didn’t have access to showers or proper hygiene supplies. Stories of feeling unsafe around people under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with untreated anger issues, bedbugs, rats, cockroaches… you name it she has seen it.

For Lily her rock bottom came from losing her best friend to an overdose. This major loss scared her into realizing she needed help with her addiction and wanted to turn her life around.

Lily stayed with us for about 1 week, when one night she just didn’t come back. I was confused as we were working on so many great tasks together like sorting out getting identification, looking into job training programs, and beginning the process of moving forward.

Thankfully, Lily returned to Covenant House a few days later. Lily shared she had relapsed. She was struggling emotionally with the loss of her best friend and didn’t know how to cope. She told us honestly about what had happened, and assured us she was committed to moving forward, drug-free. 

I thanked Lily for being open and honest with me and sharing her pain. This moment of vulnerability helped us to connect Lily to one of our Mental Health Clinicians to be able to start her journey toward healing and learning to cope with life’s struggles with healthy means.

One day, another resident was upset at the prospect of being young and homeless and was crying in our common space. Lily told her, “don’t worry, you’re not homeless anymore, you are in the Crisis Program here, which means you have a place to belong”. This sense of belonging gave Lily the safe space to really focus on her goals.

The second time around, Lily was all business on her road to recovery and healing. In the 6 months she stayed with us she attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings 3 times weekly and also secured a full-time job cleaning.

We were all blown away by Lily’s work ethic and amazing attitude. Because of this hard work, Lily was able to save enough money to rent an apartment in a nearby town and continue to transit to work.

Lily continues to check in with her team here at Covenant House even though she is not staying here any longer. To this day, she remains sober. Lily gives me hope that anyone can change their life.

Shared by Lindie, Youth Worker