Stories from the Street
Messages from our Outreach Workers & Youth Engagement Workers
A youth came on the bus with a concerned look and then told us his female friend was vomiting and going in and out of consciousness in the grass in front of the recreation center. Attending to her, we were able to keep her safe and stable. She lived close by so we walked her 20 minutes to her home and into the arms of her parents. We left her with very thankful and understanding parents.
Now, the part that touched my heart and made my job worth it.
Before this incident happened, the youth and I barely had a relationship. I would try to connect with her, but even a simple hi she ignored and gave me a nasty look.about two weeks later, I felt something physical and unexpected. A positive gesture. What was it? I felt arms around me that stopped me dead in my tracks. Could It be? Yes… I recognized the hair. It was her, and yes, it was a hug. She still hugs me every time I see her on the weekends now. I’ve never seen her in such state as she was that night ever again.
I came across a young girl who was sitting behind a school late at night, crying. I asked how I could help. She said that she was sad, depressed, and been bullied by kids at school. She said she wanted to hurt herself. I was able to get emergency services for her that night but I know its a 6-8 month wait list for youth mental health services. We see so many youth with mental health issues.
We are seeing a higher level of poly-drug use on the street and are fearful for the youth. Many of the drugs are home made and mixed with numerous toxic chemicals. We continue to educate the youth we meet about drug safety.
It's difficult when you come across a 14 year old, wondering the street, drunk, vulnerable, and in tears, only to find out they had been kicked out of the house for not following the rules. We were able to get her a place to stay for the night.
Saturday night was productive. We met a few more youth and introduced the program to a few new faces. We met up with a youth who used to be a regular from the Hyde Creek/Minnekhada area but hadn’t been by bus staff for just over a year. She knew our staff Tracey and shared with the rest of us that when she was younger she was ‘quite the party girl and liked her drinks’ but told us that due to the support and encouragement from the team she quit drinking and doesn’t party now and has been sober for over a year now and is concentrating on school and her new job at Panago Pizza!!