“I feel like I’m awake for the first time”

When Annika first came to the Crisis Program she was struggling with addiction, fleeing domestic violence and had lost custody of her daughter. Annika did not trust anyone and often found herself in confrontations with staff members and other youth. Over time I was able to build and maintain a trusting relationship with her.  

I really like to engage young people in healthy activities, so I began to organize weekly weekend outings for the youth. One Saturday afternoon, myself and a group of youth went for a hike in Deep Cove up to Quarry Rock. Amongst this group was Annika. I watched as Annika attempted small talk with the other youth and observed that she was really trying hard to make friends.  
Annika struggled with interpersonal relationships, so watching her take initiative to make conversation with her peers was HUGE. The group sat on the rocks at the top of Quarry Rock and took in the view. I could see that Annika was really taken by the view and became very quiet. On the drive back to Covenant House, Annika was sitting in the front seat. She turned to me and said “I’ve never noticed colours before. I feel like I’m awake for the first time”. I held back tears and told Annika how happy I was that she enjoyed the day.  

Annika’s growth continued, she eventually moved into supportive housing and regained custody of her daughter. She continues to check in with me via bi-weekly phone calls and reports that things are going well. Her daughter is starting day care soon, and Annika is exploring job possibilities. Annika has been thinking that being a peer support worker might be a good fit for her. She mentions during each phone call how grateful she is for her time at Covenant House Vancouver and our continued support. 

Shared by Leah, Team Leader at our Crisis Program