Posted by Peter Roaf on Sep 11, 2018
“Thinking about homeless youth who are cold and scared every night, who so often end up there for months, even years, because it is safer than where they were living,” Delta-based leadership, executive and life coach, Vicki Fenn, describes to Ladner Rotarians her joining many business and community leaders -- one seen here preparing for a night's sleep on the ground -- who volunteer to “Sleep Out” in downtown Vancouver on a cold November night to raise funds for Covenant House
 Vicki Fenn thanked by Ty Morris (l) and Guillermo Bustos (r)
The young people who come to Covenant House Vancouver face many obstacles to achieving independence. The majority of street youth have experienced physical, sexual and or emotional abuse, often at the hands of adults responsible for taking care of them. Covenant House Vancouver exists for those young people for whom there is often no one else. 
Vancouver's downtown streets can also be dangerous. Sexual exploitation, drug abuse, poverty and illness are commonplace on the streets and many of our youth are re-victimized there, having fled one unsafe situation only to find their circumstances often worse.

Combined with these traumas and often because of them, is the prevalence of mental illness, ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to bi-polar disorder to drug-induced psychosis, which, left untreated, can have devastating impacts. Homeless young people also struggle with addiction and substance abuse, often using drugs and alcohol as a way to "numb" the pain in their lives.