Female teenager sitting in a cafe with a blank expression on her face.

By Kadesha, Youth Worker at Covenant House

I didn’t realize a person could live in a house and still be homeless until I met Min-Jee.

She had come to Covenant House straight from her family’s house. The only daughter of very strict parents, Min-Jee had extremely high expectations placed on her. Her parents controlled every aspect of her life and when she failed to meet their high standards, her father would become abusive, both verbally and physically.

Min-Jee shared all this with me after several weeks in the shelter. We could see she was dealing with a lot of anxiety and did not trust adults. I maintained the Covenant House practice of unconditional love and respect, and eventually she and I built a bond.

After more time, Min-Jee revealed she was also deeply anxious about financial security. With the help of our employment counselling team, we found a job for Min-Jee, which she jumped at. She is now working hard to pay off debts and build savings for her future.

Min-Jee recently entered our longer-term residence, the CIBC Rights of Passage program. This is where she’ll spend the next year strengthening her self-confidence and practicing the life skills she has been learning. I have no doubt she will continue to experience Covenant House as the safe and positive space she had always longed for.

All she needed was a home and I’m happy we were able to be there for her.