Craig’s parents died in an accident when he was six, leaving him and his four-year-old brother alone. They were placed in foster care and taken in by two different families.
Craig grew up in a loving family in an ordinary suburban Toronto neighbourhood. He played sports and was a good student. By his early teens, no longer able to stifle his grief and pain, Craig began acting out.
“We were having problems at home so I was placed with another family. That lasted six months and I left,” Craig recalls. On his own, Craig drifted between other relatives’ homes for the next couple of years. For a time, he rented an apartment with his younger brother who had turned 16 so that they could be together. But they were unable to manage living on their own.
When Craig ran out of friends he could stay with, he found himself on the street where he heard about Covenant House. After a few brief stays, Craig decided it was time to get his life on track. He started by working on earning an English credit so that he could get on with his plans.
“I used to be good at school but my problems kind of dragged me down,” Craig says. “The teachers here will always take the time to show you that they care. They are willing to listen to your problems even if they are about things outside school.”
With three classrooms, our in-house school offers credits in the compulsory high school subjects – English, math and social sciences. Students can work at their own pace in small classes.
“I find it very comforting that we’re in small groups. It’s much easier for me to express myself and to ask for the help I need,” Craig says.
Recently Craig took another important step. He contacted his original foster family and told them he wanted to come home while he took his training program.
“I realize now how much they’ve done for me and that they are really good people,” he says. Anxious to move back home, Craig decided he would continue to attend school at Covenant House to get his credit.
For a month, Craig made the daily commute by public transit for an hour each way. “I was doing it for me,” he says. “I know the teachers here would help push me to make it.”
English credit in hand, Craig is now starting his apprenticeship training and living back at home.