When Adam moved from our crisis shelter to the longer-term housing program, CIBC Rights of Passage, I was told it had been two years since he last spoke in full sentences. He wouldn’t say more than a word or two.
One day, I accompanied him on an appointment in the community. Like usual, he was really quiet. Instead of asking him questions about himself, I tried something different. I asked Adam if he had anything he wanted to ask me to get to know me better. After some time, he asked me two questions. He wanted to know what age I was when I started talking and if there was ever a moment in my life that I stopped talking for a period of time.
We connected over the fact that I didn’t speak until I was four years old. By sharing a part of my private life with Adam, he really began to open up.
During his time in the program, Adam truly found his voice. He advocated for himself to extend his stay so he could finish high school here. He excelled in computer science, and he was proud to share that he received an award for his marks. We had a celebration for his award and his graduation.
Adam joined our mentorship program and was matched with someone who encouraged him to take care of his mind and body. They went to the gym together regularly. To this day, they still stay in touch.
Since moving out, Adam lives on his own in the community and often connects with me. He is thinking about pursuing a career in computer science or engineering. With his new voice and the positive relationships he has built, the future for Adam is open to so many possibilities.
– Genevieve, Youth Worker