Shelly came to us after spending almost a year living in tents and a car around the Lower Mainland. She shared that she had been in an extremely abusive and toxic relationship for many years and was finally ready to leave.
*Shelly has a long history of substance use and expressed multiple times that she was happy to be somewhere that she could focus on herself and not be triggered. One night while Shelly was watching Netflix in the common area. She turned to me and said that she feels a bit lazy because all she does in the evenings is drink tea and watch Netflix. She said that although she feels lazy, she is so happy she can relax and let her guard down because for almost a year she has been living in tents around the Lower Mainland and was always on high alert.
Shelly shared that since she has come to the Crisis Program, she has been able to relax and feel completely safe and supported for the first time since she can remember. Shelly and I talked about books quite a lot. She said that she used to love reading and really wants to get back into it. Later that night I found Shelly a few options for books to read and I have never seen someone so excited to receive a book.
Shelly took the book out on the balcony with a cup of tea and a blanket so she could read it. When she got to the door she turned around and looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything you guys have done for me since I’ve been here. All the staff are so kind and patient with me”.
I am always blown away by Shelly’s incredibly positive attitude as well as her gratitude. She has had to endure some unimaginable things and yet every time I see her, she has a smile on her face. I am constantly blown away by the resilience of the youth that we have the privilege to work with every day.
Hearing Shelly’s story, getting to know her, and learning how she finally feels safe and supported reminds me of how important the work is that we do here at Covenant House Vancouver.
Shared by Alysha, Youth Worker at our Crisis Program
*Shelly’s name changed for confidentiality and privacy.