A teenage girl looking sad.

A picturesque seaside town in the Maritimes was the backdrop of a childhood filled with violence, trauma and abuse for Rachel, mostly at the hands of her mother.

At 13, she spent six months in juvenile detention. Later, she lived in various foster families and group homes. When she eventually moved back home, her mother continued to abuse her. Rachel fled to the nearest large city at the age of 18.

It was there that Rachel found a job in the restaurant of a major hotel. She was a quick study in the kitchen and soon learned she had a passion for cooking. She was promoted and won many awards for her culinary creations.

However, despite her success, Rachel struggled with mental health issues that stemmed from her childhood trauma. Looking for a fresh start, she moved to Toronto, but soon found herself homeless.

Not knowing what else to do, she made her way to Covenant House. And everything changed.

With the support of staff and connections to other youth, Rachel set her sights on a path forward. She applied to our transitional housing program and is getting the care and medication she needs. This has helped her address her mental health challenges and create a customized action plan for the future.

Being at Covenant House gives me the ability to work on my mental health, while being part of a community. I’m living within society, but with staff to support me.

Rachel’s innate resilience and newfound life skills have allowed her to dream big—and begin to plan for success. Toronto is home for now, but the Maritime shores still call to her. Her dream is to return to her roots and someday open her own restaurant.

Knowing Rachel, anything is possible.