Matthew is an individual with the brightest smile I have ever seen. If you ever see him react to something funny, his whole face just lights up in genuine delight. When he first came to the Crisis Program, he introduced himself as Matt and wanted everyone to call him Matt.
We got the sense that he was running away from something; there was a lot in his past that was painful to him, and he was very brave to leave the situation he was in. It took him a little while to settle in and get used to the rhythms of Vancouver and being in our Crisis Program. He applied for and accepted many jobs, but it was difficult to find one that fit with his strengths and skills. Time and time again, he would become discouraged as he would be in a work environment that was too stimulating for him.
With supportive encouragement from his youth workers, clinical counsellor and social worker, he gradually became more comfortable exploring his strengths. He ended up getting his dream job with a retail company, and even won a top sales award during a really busy shift!
One of Matt’s goals has always been to find acceptance and community. When he became more confident with his job, he also became more comfortable with the way he dressed and carried himself.
After many weeks of planning on how he would do it, he reached out to his extended family, who were really glad to hear from him. When he left the Crisis Program, he wanted to be known as Matthew. He told staff that he is now more confident and has a stronger sense of self.
Matthew learned how to set boundaries, and is leaving with an open heart, to a family that loves him and cares about him.
Shared by Sunnie Fang
Social Worker at Covenant House Vancouver