This story comes from a street-friend who was reflecting on a situation that impacted his life greatly. This story was shared during one of our weekly Stop-In times, where street-friends, volunteers and staff share coffee and conversation.
When I first lived on the streets, at 18 years-old in Vancouver, there was a situation that really changed my life.
At the time, I was young, cold and starving but had nowhere to go and nothing to eat. It happened at 4am in the morning when I heard someone coming down the street. I looked up to see there was this little old lady (who was probably not even five feet tall) driving down the road. She was coming towards me in a golf cart and I could see she had sandwiches, juice, water and granola bars with her. After giving me something to eat she began to tell me about Covenant House that was in the city (a shelter and housing NPO for street youth). Since I had nowhere to go I decided that this would be a good place to go.
Covenant House was only for youth, they offered multiple programs and a bed to those in need. When I was there I realized that people actually cared about someone like me, and that there was, in fact, a place for me to go. My time there gave me a chance to get off the streets and the staff offered me the support that I needed most. My experience with Covenant House has prompted me to want to open a similar house, and I continue to hope for this dream to be fulfilled one day.
We appreciate that the work of OIM and organizations like it can bring hope to individuals, like this street-friend, who may not feel valued or cared for. It is stories like this one that motivate us to continue our work and the work of our greater community.
Story collected by OIM staff member Samara, and edited by Selina