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You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them…

The young people that come to Covenant House Vancouver, come from many different walks of life. From troubled pasts to broken homes, youth come to us for guidance, love, and support. From the moment they arrive to the day that we have to say, “see you later”, we are here to make a difference in their lives.

I met a youth who came to Covenant House and was very timid. She had gone through so much, had so much hurt in her heart, and so much fear in her eyes. She had never had a healthy relationship with her family, and her life had been very chaotic. I must say that nonetheless, she had a heart of gold, was very friendly and kind to others. This youth usually kept to herself at the beginning of her stay and was very shy to bond with co-residents or youth workers. I could tell she wanted to but did not know how to. It was like she wanted to trust but was unsure if she should.

Every time we would interact, there were smiles and laughter. She was very anxious, and she was a joy to be around. It took some time, but she began to trust after a few weeks of staying with us, and slowly started to be more present and create friendships with others. It was like she had found herself.

She had the opportunity to focus on herself while staying at our Crisis Program, she became a whole new person, and she seemed to love that. She was more aware of her mental health, and the goals that she wanted for her future. This young woman worked hard to the very end of her stay, to move onto independence.

She was always saying how grateful she was that she came here, a place where she could grow and learn from others. Even during a pandemic, a time where it is the most challenging, she did so well emotionally, mentally and continued to persevere so she could have an even brighter future ahead of her.

As a Youth Worker, this warmed my heart. It is an amazing experience to see youth who come to our doors that have experienced so much hurt, betrayal, abuse and yet thrive so much while they are here, that they leave here as a different person than when they first came in.

Before the end of this youth’s stay, this youth said she looked up to us, that it is so important that the people who work here with such big hearts, and that she strives to be like us one day. Before she left, I told her it was a pleasure to meet her, walk with her, and she thanked me for always being so kind to her.

In this type of work, I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. That our youth come to us for a reason, and we are so lucky to be frontline workers in this field to watch youth find the light that they have been seeking and longing for. This youth was also a reminder to always be kind to others because you never know much someone needed that smile you gave them, and what it meant to them.

Shared by Brenda, Youth Worker at our Crisis Program