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Finding Solace in the Crisis Program

What is the Crisis Program? 
At Covenant House, our Crisis Program is part of our continuum of care and welcomes young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who need short-term or emergency housing. We provide housing and wrap-around services, in a safe supportive environment. Young people have often experienced trauma when arriving at Covenant House. They are scared, sick, hungry, and exhausted so our first priority is to meet young people’s basic needs:   

  • A safe place to sleep 
  • Nutritious food 
  • Warm clothing and showers  
  • Hygiene supplies 

Why would youth seek the Crisis Program? 
Every young person’s experience and life is unique, so why they choose to come to Covenant House is different for everyone, but some circumstances are:  

  • Fleeing violence or abuse at home, or from another close relationship 
  • Not being accepted by their family 
  • Aging out of foster care 
  • Experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming  
  • New to the country 
  • Undiagnosed or untreated mental health issues 
  • Substance misuse 
  • Escaping human trafficking 

How many youth can the Crisis Program support? 
Last year, 264 youth stayed in our Crisis Program. 
 
There are 60 beds in our short-term Crisis Program: 

  • 30 beds for female-identified youth (including 2SLGBTQAI+, gender queer, gender non-binary and self-identified young women) 
  • 30 beds for male-identified youth (including 2SLGBTQAI+, gender queer, gender non-binary and self-identified young men) 

 
 
Why is the Crisis Program important? 
Young people can stay in the Crisis Program free of charge for as long as they need to because getting through a crisis takes as long as it takes. 

Along with safe, supported housing, young people receive food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. They can also receive employment and education support, access to Registered Clinical Counsellors and social workers, and help in transitioning to independence when they are ready. 

A vital component in how we support youth in crisis is through our Integrated Case Management approach. The Case Management Team is comprised of social workers who work to provide youth-focused, coordinated, and all-encompassing services to youth. 

Covenant House Vancouver takes a trauma-informed approach to caring for our young people. Trauma-informed care involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma-informed care also emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety and helps youth rebuild a sense of control and empowerment. 

Our social workers seek to focus and build upon the unique gifts and strengths that our young people possess. 

Integrated Case Management may include: 

  • Assessments of overall health (mental, physical, and spiritual) 
  • Creation and implementation of weekly case plans 
  • Short- and long-term goal setting 
  • Referrals to, and coordination of, specialized services like psychiatrists and other medical professionals 

Youth staying in our Crisis Program receive this integrated approach to overcome their trauma, along with the support needed to build the future that they envision. When out of their crisis, many young people apply to our long-term, supportive transitional housing program, Rights of Passage, which provides them with support in an environment that feels like home and helps them build a life of independence.