When *Summer first came to the Crisis Program, she was seeking sanctuary from an abusive partner. She was far from home, sleeping on the streets, struggling with drug use, and was stuck in the cycle of abuse.
She arrived at the Crisis Program with the understanding that something needed to change. After a few days in her new environment, it was nice to see Summer feeling more comfortable and at ease. She was sociable, empathetic, and feeling determined to make connections that would help her reach her goals.
One evening, Summer asked if we could take a walk for some fresh air. During our walk, Summer appeared anxious and was constantly checking our surroundings. She apologized and said it was out of habit, picked up from the time she had spent sleeping rough. She explained that when she was on the streets, she had to be aware of everything going on around her and that she could never fully let her guard down.
We continued our walk, talking about everything from the struggles she was facing, to how much positive change she was already making, to even some lighthearted conversation about how she hoped to see some snow this winter so it would remind her of home.
At the end of our walk, Summer turned to me and said she was so thankful to be staying at the Crisis Program. She stated that for the first time in a very long time, she felt safe, supported, and finally somewhere that she could let her guard down and relax.
After living in such an unsafe and chaotic environment for so long, this mattered to her. With her immediate needs being met, Summer finally has the opportunity to practice self-care, create a healthy support system, and work towards her ultimate goal of reuniting with her family.
Shared by Jessica, a Youth Worker at our Crisis Program
*Name changed to protect confidentiality.