Last night a community of professionals, companies, teams, and individuals gave up their beds for one night, and with one purpose to ensure that young people overcoming homelessness can receive life-changing support at Covenant House Vancouver.
Our sleepers and their communities raised critical awareness, much-needed funds, and helped ensure youth have a safe place to receive mental health care and other crucial services. We want to give a very special thank you to our matching donors, the Nicola Family Foundation, who provided $50,000 in matching funds.
Participants had an opportunity to tour our new building and learn how we support young people by helping ensure immediate needs like food and housing are met. While also providing wrap-a-round support including medical care and access to clinical counsellors, help to exit human trafficking, and access to social workers.
A highlight of the evening was hearing from our program staff and young people who have received care at Covenant House Vancouver.
Lisa a Social Worker with CHV for 24 years shared an incredible story. She had put in a call to a government agency to learn more about a young person she was working with. The Social Worker who she connected with said, “Lisa it’s me!” It was the first client she had ever worked with at CHV and now they were now a Social Worker. Talk about a full-circle moment.
Youth shared their experiences about homelessness and how Covenant House Vancouver supported them on their journeys.
One comment from a youth speaker spoke to the importance of belonging, “Talking to my youth worker about my experiences, for the first time I felt like I had been heard, like I belonged somewhere. I can’t put into words how impactful having that conversation was.”
When the youth were asked if there was anything they wanted to share with the sleepers one young person stated, “The real impact is acknowledging that what you’re doing tonight is allowing the youth out there and the youth at CHV to feel and know that they are seen, that they’re heard, that they matter, that they belong.”
Sleep Out has grown into a movement of hope, compassion, and advocacy. Together, we will continue working to ensure that if a young person needs help or a place to belong, we will always be here to welcome them in and provide a safe space to heal, grow and thrive.
A huge thank you to our sleepers for their ongoing commitment to supporting young people relentlessly!