Video games forging lifelong friendships

The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but it’s been especially hard on residents in a communal living environment – like here, in the Crisis Program. Throughout the pandemic, the ability for residents to freely leave our building while staying in the Crisis Program has been limited twice this year: for a few months in the spring during the first wave, and in the late fall and early winter, during the second wave. Brayden first came to the Crisis Program in October, a month before we put our movement restrictions back in place. He was shy but good spirited when he arrived.

As I’m sure we’re all familiar with, being confined to the four walls of our homes has left us all trying to find ways to ease our boredom. For Brayden, this meant playing video games – which made him the perfect candidate for our second common space: a former Human Resources office made up mainly of cubicles with computers that had been converted so residents could play video games on them.

I took Brayden to the second common space, intending to give him a tour of the space myself. As we entered, Richard looked up from his cubicle. Richard, like Brayden, was a kind but shy introvert, who liked to spend his free time playing video games. Richard had been in the Crisis Program when this common space was first opened in the spring and was already familiar with the space and how it worked. He immediately jumped up and approached us when I walked in with Brayden, offering to take over from me and show Brayden around himself. Richard showed him how to get set up at the cubicles and went over the ground rules of the space to help him get settled in. Satisfied that Richard was covering all the bases, I turned to leave, when over my shoulder I heard Richard say, “Welcome to the family, I think you’ll like it here.”

Shared by Nathan, a Youth Worker in our Crisis Program