Young woman with braids standing outside wearing denim jacket and yellow hat

Naomi arrived in Toronto with nothing but a small bag of personal belongings. The impact of being homeless - with no one she could count on in the city was overwhelming. Eventually, a woman noticed that Naomi looked lost and offered to help, ultimately directing her to Covenant House.  Naomi didn’t know what to expect and was surprised by the warm welcome she received.

That was January 2020  – just a few weeks before COVID-19 shut down Toronto. Since then, Naomi has spent a lot of time on her own but has taken advantage of this time to prepare for her future.

While living in our temporary crisis shelter at a downtown hotel, Naomi enrolled in high school and began taking college preparation courses. With physical distancing measures preventing her from connecting with other youth, she began learning new skills like crocheting, braiding hair and playing the guitar from watching online videos.

Today, she loves to make beautiful things and appreciates the feeling of accomplishment that comes with each creation. She’s even begun to sell her products to new friends and exploring how to start an online shop.

More than anything, Naomi is grateful for where she is today. She says that the roof over her head, food to eat, people to talk to and the support from Covenant House staff are everything she needs to begin a new life. She’s working with our housing team to find a permanent place to live.  Naomi is well on her way to reaching her goal of living a happy and independent life in her new city.

Naomi is a different person than the one who arrived at the beginning of 2020. Her resilience and optimism are continuing to guide her to a bright future.