At Covenant House, Vie is known as having a smile that lights up the room. A calm and contained young woman, she’s been staying at Covenant House for the last 8 months.
Vie’s face turns serious, though, as she explains the effect COVID-19 has had on her hopes for the future.
She has lost her work as a hairstylist and her refugee hearing is on hold because of the crisis. As Vie frames it, “My short and long term goals are at a complete standstill – I’m just trying to survive right now.”
As a refugee from Trinidad and Tobago, Vie is also painfully aware of her lack of family here in Canada: “It’s very scary and nerve-wracking. I’ve limited my interactions with people and feel very depressed. You can’t go anywhere or do anything. I can’t see my friends and I feel very disconnected.”
Despite these pressing concerns, Vie remains grateful for the support she’s receiving. It’s the simple things, she says, that keep her centered in all of this.
Working with Maria, a mental health counsellor at Covenant House, Vie is focusing on accepting emotions as they arise. She reminds herself that feeling sad is okay - that feeling her feelings is okay.
And there are moments of joy amid the worry. Vie journals, exercises, talks openly to friends about the issues she’s facing and enjoys doing puzzles and art with Covenant House staff.
Even though Vie has a lot of uncertainty during these times, some things are clearer than ever: “I’m grateful for the ability to still have a meal and be able to communicate with people and have a roof over my head.”