Brianne a new staff member of our Development and Communications Team had the opportunity to learn about Outreach and participate in a shadow with an Outreach Worker. Below Brianne shares what the experience was like:
I had the opportunity to shadow one of our talented Outreach Youth Workers, Nicola on her outreach shift. We packed our bags full of sandwiches, juice boxes, gloves, hats and water and set out around noon. At first, we went to some preplanned stops to check in on youth we already have an established relationship. The stops varied from dropping off a consent form that one youth needed, to dropping off some games to another that we promised after the last visit with him. Along the way, Nicola ran into a few youth that she knew and we gave out sandwiches and juice boxes at their request.
After the preplanned stops, we decided to walk around downtown to see if we could connect with any new youth. We walked along Granville Street and noticed a youth asking for money. We approached him and asked if he would like a sandwich which he nodded. We gave him two sandwiches and two juice boxes. We ask if he knew about Covenant House and he shook his head. We explained our programs a bit and asked if he would like to drop in one day for more meals. He shook his head and began to eat one of his sandwich. He didn’t make eye contact with us and it was clear more trust had to be established with this youth before he felt comfortable with us.
Further along our walk downtown, we ran into a young girl who was sitting on a bench. We asked if she was hungry and wanted a sandwich. She said yes and we gave her two sandwiches and some juice boxes. She asked what we were doing and why we were handing out sandwiches. We explained we were from Covenant House and how we support youth. She said “Cool!” and Nicola let her know where we were located if she ever wanted to drop in for a hot meal or for any of our programs. She thanked us as we said our goodbyes.
It was amazing to see how Nicola connects with these youth and builds trusting relationships so they feel comfortable coming to us for whatever they need.