During the COVID-19 pandemic, Covenant House continues to deliver essential services. In these uncertain times, it’s also important to create a sense of stability and normalcy for the youth we serve. To maintain this routine, our employment centre remains open and available to youth.
Carlos, youth employment counsellor, shares that, “Youth are grateful we’re still open. In general, youth seem optimistic that things will get back to normal and really want to have something they can work on right now instead of being stagnant.”
To maintain physical distancing, staff adjusted the space and hours of the centre. They rotate shifts and offer daily workshops to a limited number of youth at a time. These workshops help youth achieve various certifications including Smart Serve and WHMIS.
By appointment, youth can also meet with staff one-on-one to address their concerns and employment needs. Youth who have been laid off can get help with EI applications. Computers are available and staff help navigate the site and long wait times. Young people can also get assistance with their resumes and cover letter writing.
When the employment centre isn’t occupied with these appointments and workshops, it’s available to youth to use as a safe space to get away. These days, youth really look forward to time spent out of their room – to read, watch a movie or simply for a change of scenery.
As Carlos notes, “It’s a way for young people to get away from it all and work on something that’s meaningful for them once this is all over.”
We are all hopeful and longing for the days when things will “get back to normal.” In the meantime, our staff are helping youth cope, retain some routine in their lives and maintain their dreams for the future.