A young happy girl wearing a plaid shirt.

Courtney arrived at Covenant House with a drug problem and an unstable life. She’d been on the street for years struggling with addiction and the lifestyle had taken a toll.

Courtney would visit our Community Support Services drop-in centre to meet with Oneil, her outreach worker. But she often didn’t show up to her scheduled appointments.

Oneil always welcomed her with unconditional respect, love and encouragement and offered the support and advice Courtney needed—even when she came in unannounced.

I could see that Courtney wanted to make a change, but I knew that it would have to be at her own pace.

Despite all of her obstacles, Courtney showed remarkable resilience. With support, time and patience, she began to make changes in her life. She completed a day program to help with her substance use and is attending other programs in the community and meeting with her workers consistently.

She has her own place now, but Courtney visits Oneil at Covenant House every week for help with learning how to cook . “Together, we try out new recipes and she has become quite the chef!” said Oneil. Many youth like Courtney miss out on learning basic life skills that are often taken for granted--like cooking, housekeeping and grocery shopping.

“The growth I have seen in Courtney is remarkable,” reflects Oneil. “She is more motivated, positive and hard-working than ever. She is now in the process of enrolling in the George Brown transition program for individuals interested in going back to school. I am so proud of her and how far she has come. I know that she has a great future ahead of her.”