Rodrigo is a young man who would come into the Drop-In Centre to get his various needs met, like receiving food and clothing. At first, he did not interact much with our staff or other youth. Rodrigo was staying at different shelters and couch surfing. Eventually, he got into a low-barrier supportive housing unit which was closer to us, so he started coming in more often for meals.
As time passed, he started opening up to staff and participating in different activities and outings. Rodrigo struggled with substance misuse and found that joining us for activities helped him with boredom and wanting to use.
Our Outreach Team continued to visit him at his house to connect. We encouraged him to come to the Drop-In or come to the park to play basketball.
Rodrigo started sharing more and talked about his love of music. One day, he ended up asking for a guitar from our Gifts-in-Kind department. He was so excited to start playing again after not having a guitar nor being able to afford one on his own.
He started bringing his guitar with him to Drop-In and would play songs that he had written for the other youth and staff.
Recently, Rodrigo reconnected with his family and also applied for music school. He hopes to start in September. We are so glad Rodrigo came out of his shell. Seeing him build social connections and gain confidence has been a joy to witness!
Shared by Nicola, Outreach Worker