What is it like to live at Covenant House on a day-to-day basis? For two homeless youth who recently entered our shelter, it’s a place of unconditional love and support. In fact, they found CHA so welcoming and helpful, they didn’t even know they were living in a homeless shelter until a few months after arriving here.
The teenagers earnestly told their story and thanked volunteers, peers and staff at the annual CHA Volunteer Appreciation Lunch in April. Standing at the podium, they described Covenant House as a safe haven where they can lay out their dreams and learn to be independent.
“Though we are considered homeless, the staff and volunteers made us realize that we can still do things with our life -- that we can still become somebody,” said Justin, who arrived at Covenant House eight months ago. “There’s no problem around here that cannot be solved.”
Justin arrived in Anchorage alone from Texas. With no place to stay, he tried couch-surfing, first with long-lost relatives, then later with “someone who helped me get myself into trouble.” He found Covenant House as a last resort.
“I did not know this was a homeless shelter until about two months later,” Justin said. “This experience has been awesome.”
Another young resident, Sheila, agreed. In an emotional moment, she thanked the Covenant House volunteers and team for their unfaltering support.
“This place is so very welcoming that you don’t even know it’s a homeless shelter,” Sheila said, fighting back tears. “And it touches me that you guys take time out of your busy schedule to actually come and be with us, and help us get back on our feet.”
Over 125 volunteers regularly offer their time and talent to Covenant House, said Executive Director Alison Kear. It is a labor of love.
“We could not do what we do without the volunteers and the role they play here every day,” Kear told the audience. “We thank the volunteers for being here, for being another voice to our youth. We’re honored and touched that you have chosen Covenant House to spend time at.”