“Wow this home is so nice, I’m so happy I finally decided to come here.”

In the middle of a cold night we had a young lady named Kayla arrive at the door. She had just escaped the apartment where she was living with a very violent and abusive partner. Thankfully, she heard about Covenant House Vancouver and arrived in the middle of the night, nervous and overwhelmed.

As a Youth Worker in the female Crisis Program I was able to provide her with a hot cup of tea, a warm meal and of course a safe place to stay. She was very unsure about staying in the Crisis Program overnight because she never imagined herself in a situation like this. She even debated going back to the home that was unsafe.

I gave her a tour of the Crisis Program just so she could have an idea of what the program was all about. She saw the beautiful new space and was pleasantly surprised when she saw how comfortable the rooms are. Kayla warmed up to the idea of staying in the Crisis Program and said that she never imagined it would be this nice and welcoming. In the end she decided to stay and not go back to the unsafe household.

One of the favorite parts of my job is hanging out with the youth and watching movies or playing board games in the living room. After a long week it is always nice for these young people to have a safe, homey place to relax and enjoy their evening interacting with Youth Workers and other residents.

The following evening Kayla was still quite shy and had spent most of the day in her room. That night the staff brought in a bunch of art supplies and stockings and all the youth got together to decorate their very own stockings to hang on their door. We drank hot chocolate, ate cookies, and put on a Christmas movie.

When we started decorating the stockings Kayla could hear all the chatting and laughter and she decided to join the group. As soon as she sat down all the other youth introduced themselves and welcomed her. After a while it was clear to see that Kayla had started to feel comfortable in the space. Later, in the evening I could even hear Kayla say, “wow this home is so nice, I’m so happy I finally decided to come here”.

It was really rewarding to see a youth go from being so scared and unsure to comfortable, safe, and secure. I feel so lucky to be able to be part of a program that helps get young people out of tough situations and into a safe and supportive environment.

Shared by Alysha, Youth Worker in our Crisis Program