One Phone Call Saved His Life

OnePhoneCall_small“I didn’t know where to go when I left home, so I dialed the operator and she put me through to Covenant House,” Joe recalls. “I didn’t have anywhere to go, and I was very lucky that I found Covenant House.”

As a toddler, Joe had immigrated to Toronto with his family from the Philippines. His parents and their seven children lived in tight quarters while Joe’s dad struggled to support his family. The situation was often difficult and stressful, and child welfare authorities sometimes checked on the family.

When Joe arrived he stayed in our shelter, but he soon moved into our longer-term residence that we call Rights of Passage (ROP). “I got so much support from the staff there that I was eventually able to go back to school and graduate.”

“I got more attention there than I had ever gotten anywhere else. It was the first time I felt I was at home. I really grew up there,” Joe says.

When he left at 18, Joe got an apartment with some friends and continued his studies at York University.

Today, Joe has earned an Honours degree in biology and is finishing his Master’s. He’s applied to medical school and his goal is to work with the homeless.


» Learn more about our Rights of Passage program

2 thoughts on “One Phone Call Saved His Life

  1. Dear Covenant House Shelter, I think Covenant House is a wonderful shelter for teens and youth. But a lot of teens and youth struggle living on the streets because of their past, disability, and not knowing what they want to do that they are confused but feel safe to go to Covenant Hose when they really need to or want to. Their are great staffs their at Covenant House that makes you feel like you are one big family even though they have rules that non of us like just like in the real world when we are in a stuck situation. At least they are support when needed and they are always there to help everyone out as the best as they can. The staffs do their job because they need to work and they have good hearts, socialize with the teens and youth that they really make you feel like you are at home. Most important they make you feel like you are at home, feed you good food, and really keep the building clean when someone new or on the street comes in to stay in the Covenant House Shelter.

    Congratulations to Covenant House Shelter even though you put up with a lot of us the crazy, unique and us who don’t always listen or stubborn to do or go our way or the highway. You guys do your job and are really good at it are the best for those who really want or need it. Keep up the good and hard work you always do everyday and 24/7.
    From: Christina

    • Covenant House Toronto

      Thanks, Christina! We really appreciate your kind words!

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