A community is more than a geographical place. It’s a sense of belonging, it’s a sense of unity. As a team, when one member suffers, we all suffer, and this is why supporting our community is so important to us. When we have a society that looks out for one another, we create a healthy environment where everyone can thrive. There are so many variables in life and walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is impossible, but relating to the emotions carried along someone’s journey is something we can all do. So that’s why we feel it’s important to promote and support charities that are actively making a difference in our communities. It’s why we’re growing a business with a holistic approach, and attempting to leave the earth with more positives than negatives.
Our community supports us and it only makes sense that we share in that success as we grow.
Every year at Healthy Hooch Kombucha we release unique seasonal flavours and tie them to various local charities. For the past two years throughout November and December, we promote our seasonal flavour Cranberry + Ginger Spice + Everything Nice. 10% of sales from our seasonal are donated to Covenant House Vancouver, an amazing group that’s truly making an impact on our society. Covenant House provides support and services for youth experiencing homelessness. They have locations in Vancouver and Toronto but have locations in 29 other cities, in 6 different countries, worldwide. This is a charity we truly believe in and are proud to support. This blog is to share a bit more detail on the initiatives that make Covenant House stand out as a charity to support. Keep reading to learn more about their work and how you can help.
Helping Homeless Youth
Every year there are up to 40,000 youth experiencing homelessness across Canada. Many of these youth have aged out of foster care, left abusive home lives, escaped sex trafficking and exploitation, and have little in the way of support. They don’t have access to basic necessities. Covenant House provides support and services to at-risk youth and youth experiencing homelessness. Each location has room for autonomy and may have varied support services but all of them have the same core services: Community Support Services, Crisis Program and Rights of Passage program. Below are the services that Covenant House Vancouver provides.
Community Support Services
Covenant House Vancouver’s street outreach team are the boots on the ground, reaching out to homeless youth and at risk youth aged 16-24. They offer food, hygiene products, minor medical and invite them to the drop in location for a shower and hot meal. They build trust and lasting relationships with youth on the streets and connect them with medical professionals or their Crisis Program.
The Drop-In Centre is where youth can be connected with youth care workers, counselling, addiction support, recovery programs, mental health services and housing support services. They also provide meals, showers, laundry, phone, mailing address, recreational activities and assist with finding employment. If going back home is an option for the youth, they can also offer financial assistance to get back home.
The Crisis Program provides access to necessities like food, a safe place to sleep, and key supports to help young people gain their independence. There are 63 beds at the Vancouver facility where they can stay for free as long as they need, until they are ready to transition. Many apply to the Rights of Passage housing program after their stay.
The Rights of Passage Program is affordable housing while youth make the transition to independent living. Youth must meet the intake requirements and apply to the program, then commit to curfew and classes. They are provided with a fully furnished apartment until their 25th birthday. There is 24 hour support staff, case management, daily community dinners, celebrations, some groceries and recreational activities. The program teaches life skills like money management, cooking, goal setting, communication, and self care skills.
Additional Support Services
Covenant House helps keep homeless youth safe, mentally and physically, and allows them to rebuild their lives. They have a team of social workers that provide case management services tailored to the youth’s specific needs and traumas. They have housing support workers that help homeless youth learn life skills and find long term, safe, affordable, and independent housing. They provide spiritual support, mental health and addiction support and specialized support for LGBTQ2S+. 25-45% of homeless youth are LGBTQ2S+ and a common cause is family rejection. In 2014 Covenant House Vancouver partnered with the True Colors Fund to learn the best practices to serve LGBTQ2S+ youth so that they could better equip themselves and create a more inclusive program and environment.
How You Can Help
You can support Covenant House by direct cash donation or amazon wish list donations on their website. All donations go directly to youth to provide food, shelter, clothing and counselling. They also accept clothing, food, gifts and more. Head over to their website to learn more about how you can donate items as they do have some restrictions with Covid-19 when dropping off. There are a number of sleep out events that Covenant House puts on throughout the year. Individuals or organizations give up their bed for a night to raise money so homeless youth can have a bed, you can sign up on their website to participate in the next sleep out event. Additionally, there are corporate donations, DIY fundraising opportunities, school fundraising and volunteer work available.
Thank You For Your Support
This year because of your support, we raised 60% more funds for Covenant House Vancouver. The donation was then tripled thanks to the Triple Match Campaign put on by their supporting donors. We want to say a big thank you! Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible. We plan to bring back our seasonal flavour supporting Covenant House every year.