CSS stands for Community Support Services. Our Youth Workers provide an array of as-needed services to young people age 16 to 24, including outreach in the community and at our Drop-In Centre.
Our Outreach Team connected with 722 individual youth last year.
Covenant House’s Outreach Team helps young people aged 16 to 24 who are living, or at risk of living, on Vancouver’s streets, or who are precariously housed.
The team builds trusting relationships by meeting young people where they are and by being a consistent, supportive presence in their lives. Travelling on foot, the team offers food, support, hygiene supplies, and minor medical attention. The Outreach Team invites youth to come to our Drop-In Centre for a hot meal, shower, or help with anything they wish to work on.
Street life is brutally dangerous for vulnerable youth, and when we find young people in crisis, our team is trained to connect them with psychiatrists, medical professionals, and social workers, or to bring them to our Crisis Program if they are in need of supportive housing.
Many young people age out of the foster care system at 19 with nowhere to go. Many also run away from home thinking, “it can’t get any worse.” All too soon they learn it can. The Outreach Team makes sure youth know they aren’t alone and that there are trustworthy people who want to help.
In our Drop-In Centre, 406 youth accessed warm meals, a safe place to rest, and one-size-fits-one support.
At our Drop-In Centre, youth receive:
- Connections to Youth Workers for support, counselling and personal planning
- Access to an in-house addictions counsellor and programs focused on support and recovery
- Access to appointments with mental health clinicians and psychiatrists
- Help from a Housing Support Worker and independent living start-up kits
- Referrals to other social services
- Help with finding employment and referrals to job centres and training programs
- Financial assistance to get back home, if that’s an option
- Access recreational opportunities including yoga, soccer, hockey, basketball and baseball
- Food, clothing and hygiene supplies
- Access to our message board, long-distance phone plan and mailing address
- Access to shower and laundry facilities
This last year has been especially difficult for youth, with the pandemic and the opioid crisis. Covenant House Vancouver is committed to providing the best possible care for youth 16–24 and treating them with unconditional love and absolute respect.
We invite you to learn more about our young people and what Covenant House Vancouver has accomplished this past fiscal year, by viewing our Impact Report.