Covenant House Vancouver

 

We sleep out to show solidarity with youth who are experiencing homelessness and to let the world know about these courageous young people. Sleep Out: Champions Edition raises funds for CHV's vital mental health and addictions programs.

Our Programs

 

The young people who come to Covenant House Vancouver face many obstacles to achieving independence. Many of them have experienced physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse, often at the hands of adults responsible for taking care of them. Likewise, the streets of downtown Vancouver can be dangerous. Sexual exploitation, drug abuse, poverty and illness are commonplace and many of our youth are re-victimized there, having fled one unsafe situation only to find their circumstances unchanged.

Combined with these traumas - and often as a result of them - is the prevalence of mental illness amongst our youth, which can lead to devastating impacts if left untreated. In addition to mental illness, many young people also struggle with addiction and substance abuse. Homeless youth may rely on drugs and alcohol to "numb" the pain they experience in their lives.

Covenant House Vancouver offers youth an opportunity to address their counselling and psychiatric needs. Our Registered Clinical Counsellors work from an attachment theory lens which recognizes that a safe and trusting relationship is a basic human need much like the food, clothing, and shelter we provide.

 

Immediacy in Action

 

When it becomes apparent that a youth is struggling with a mental health concern or addiction, a†Social Worker on our Case Management Team†refers them to one of our in-house Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC). The youth and their dedicated RCC will work together to determine what supports the youth requires.

Treatment plans may involve one-to-one counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Art Therapy, a referral to a psychiatrist, a referral to a treatment centre, or a combination of services. Covenant House Vancouver has a strong partnership with†The Foundry, and their team of psychiatrists work closely with our Registered Clinical Counsellors to provide youth with the most effective care possible.

We believe that providing services to aid with these concurrent disorders due to past traumas to clients while they are young is key to preventing lifelong homelessness and for effectively managing symptoms as an adult.