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Being sick is hard on everyone, but it creates real problems for youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk.

Colds and flu can make physical and mental health conditions worse—or lead to longer and more serious illnesses. The youth we serve at the Benskids Health Centre often come to us in poor health after trying to cope on their own for too long.

Providing a young person with something as simple as warm clothing or a flu shot can prevent illness. It also helps start a relationship with us so youth can feel comfortable asking for help for more serious health concerns.

This year, we wanted to help all youth in need to stay as healthy as possible this winter. That’s why we held our first-ever Health and Wellness pop-up event in the courtyard at Covenant House.
Our health care team provided flu shots and free giveaways to youth between the ages of 16-26, with or without ID or access to health coverage.

During the event:

  • We served 35 youth in the community
  • Provided more than 50 bags of hygiene products and cold/flu remedies
  • Gave out our entire donated supply of warm winter gear
  • Offered snacks and hot chocolate for participants

Elisa, registered nurse and manager of our BensKids Health Centre says it was a big success.

“This event was what health care and Covenant House are all about—meeting youth where they’re at, even if that’s outside. I was so happy we were able to make this happen and take our incredible services into the community where those in most need could get help.”