Health Foundation supports Covenant House Vancouver’s Inclusivity Program

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2022

The program provides youth in the LGBTQ2S+ community with resources and activities that both affirm and nurture their identities.

For youth experiencing homelessness or housing instability, Covenant House Vancouver has been a pillar of support for over 20 years by offering a range of programs and services to meet their unique needs. The Covenant House Vancouver’s mission is to provide a safe and inclusive space for all youth. As part of that mission, their Inclusivity Program aims to help vulnerable youth who are members of the LGBTQ2S+ community with resources and activities that both affirm and nurture their identities.

Unfortunately, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, gender non-binary, and two spirited youth are overrepresented in the homeless community. Covenant House Vancouver estimates that approximately 25-40% of youth who access their services are LGBTQ2S+. Sadly, family rejection is the most common cause of LGBTQ2S+ youth homelessness.

In 2021, the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation donated $10,000 to support the Inclusivity Program.

“The Health Foundation chose to support this program because its mandate to support at-risk LGBTQ2S+ youth aligns perfectly with our own mission to improve the health and wellbeing of all British Columbians,” says Jim Iker, Board Chair of the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation. “Programs that provide tailored support to at-risk LBGTQ2S+ youth are especially important because we know this community is disproportionately affected by homelessness and housing instability.”

The Inclusivity Program provides a wide range of gender-affirming products and services for LGBTQ2S+ youth as well as ongoing training for all Covenant House Vancouver staff through organizations such as QMUNITY and Trans Care BC. Mental health support services are available to all youth at Covenant House Vancouver, and with this specialized staff training, LGBTQ2S+ youth can receive support tailored to meet their unique needs. Other program initiatives include the availability of gender-affirming products such as binders, breast forms, and wigs and enhanced LBGTQ2S+ event nights.

The hope is that these supports will continue to ensure a safe, comfortable, and equitable experience for LGBTQ2S+ youth at Covenant House Vancouver.

“Thank you so much for this donation to Covenant House Vancouver. It truly makes a difference for young people in the Covenant House Community.”

– Alison Brodie, Development Officer, Corporate and Foundation Giving