Caring for At-Risk Youth During COVID-19
At Covenant House Vancouver (“CHV”), their role and responsibility during this time, like anytime, is the health and well-being of young people experiencing homelessness. Young people who come to CHV have already experienced trauma and COVID-19’s unique challenges makes this an even more trying time for them.
Sleeping on the streets or in crowded emergency shelters means youth are more vulnerable to infections like the flu, colds, and other serious health conditions. They can suffer from extraordinarily high rates of both chronic and acute health problems because of this.
Food and nutrition are vital to their young people, as many of them have struggled with having enough to eat and often come to us malnourished.
Youth experiencing homelessness face many of the same adversities as adults, but they are still developing physically, cognitively, psychologically, and emotionally, and the risks and trauma they experience at this time can have long-lasting effects.
What Covenant House is Doing
- Covenant House Vancouver will rely on its own staffing resources to support essential services and has a COVID-19 Emergency Plan including remote work where possible, minimal staffing (i.e., essential personnel only), and staff travel bans on both international and domestic travel.
- They have revised their intake process to include recommended questions from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC).
- If a youth presents with symptoms or has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed or is symptomatic, they will need to be immediately isolated while staff follow instructions as provided by 8-1-1 HealthLink.
- They are maintaining a two-week stock of emergency supplies, including food, linens, masks, hand sanitizers, cleaning materials, and medicines.
- In addition to the industry-standard cleaning protocol already in place, they have introduced additional measures to increase the sanitation of spaces/buildings. These include:
- Visible hand washing signage posted around buildings
- “Cover your Cough” signs at entrances, washroom sinks, and high-traffic areas
- Increased attention to high-touch areas – disinfecting multiple times daily with Vancouver Coastal Care Certified Wipes
- Providing access to cleaning supplies, tissues, and hand sanitizer throughout programs for staff and youth to use.
How You Can Help
- You can make a monetary donation online
- They ask that you please do not visit or do drop offs the Covenant House locations downtown at this time
- View CHV’s Amazon Wishlist and order items to be delivered to them directly
Some Cheer for Heroes
View this post on Instagram
One of the Youth Workers in our Crisis Program shared a special moment that took place this past weekend: A couple of the youth said they were going out on the balcony to cheer for medical staff at 7:00pm. So a few of us went out – we all practiced social distancing. I have honestly never experienced anything like that. The people coming out on their balconies and clapping and cheering. We were all clapping and cheering (and actually I was also crying). It was so, so beautiful to experience this moment of us all coming together. For those few moments, it felt like the world stopped and we were all surrounded with love and care for each other. -Shared by Lesley a Youth Worker at our Crisis Program
Since 1997, Covenant House Vancouver has been providing love and hope to youth experiencing homelessness. They are the premiere service provider of residential and outreach services for homeless and at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 in Vancouver.
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