In the midst of the pandemic, Covenant House continues to provide 24/7 comprehensive care & support to the youth and children facing homelessness and trafficking in our community. In late 2019, we were caring for 162 youth and children, the most ever in our history. Now, we are averaging over 220 young people in our care each night. We will continue to feed, clothe, and shelter our young residents, while also meeting their physical and behavioral healthcare needs during this critical time.
We are committed to protecting the health of our residents and our brave front-line staff, and we are doing everything in our power to prevent a further outbreak of this dangerous virus.
Covenant House is prioritizing the intake of the most vulnerable youth. We will continue to practice a number of important policies that were implemented in March that have helped us prevent the virus’s spread on our campus, including:
- Requiring all youth & staff to wear protective face coverings
- Promoting and facilitating daily temperature taking, washing of hands, and social distancing
- Providing “to-go” meals to limit congregation at meal times
This crisis represents a new challenge for our staff and our young people. Despite all that they have experienced, they are filled with hope and promise. Their resilience is truly remarkable.
Help support our residents in this time of extraordinary crisis.
What if we all simply prayed more, and listened more, and loved more, and ultimately respected more? . . . With God’s grace, each of us can be peacemakers to our fractured world.
One of the under-recognized perceptions—and truths—about the young people we serve is the incredible number of innate gifts they possess. This spans across a wide spectrum of both potential and already-on-display talents.
“Painting is a relief for me,” he says. “It helps me find a better place to rest my mind. Instead of keeping all the negative energy in me, I put it all on canvas.”
In these faith-testing times, if a child of poverty, homeless, with absolutely nothing to her name can choose to be a beacon of hope, how could I fail to make the same choice?
Despite all the brutal violence that he endured in his fight for justice and equality, John Lewis believed in the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Humana has announced a special $60,000 gift to provide 24/7 comprehensive care and support to over 200 homeless youth and children at Covenant House during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Maybe we should expect to see more than 250 young people at our door… 275 or even 300? How many youth and children will be with us on Christmas Eve?”
As I prayed this morning, I asked God: “What are you calling me to do today?” Often, the “stuff” of the day – and my own humanness – blocks out my ability to hear God answer. Today, however, I sensed God was calling me to listen.
“In contrast to the selfishness, injustice, and inequality of the world around us, our ‘Cov Community’ is centered around supporting one another and empowering those less fortunate to be and achieve their best.”
“It can be tough work, but it is only in listening that we can truly understand the oppression and injustices our youth feel… they have a voice and deserve to be heard.”
“Miss Archie, Miss Melba and Mr. Steve helped me to heal. They helped launch me on a new path. It was the first time in my life I was truly proud of myself. . . I came back to work at Covenant House, believing I could reach these young women.”
“The stay-at-home order gave me a lot of time to reflect – and to meditate and pray… after COVID-19, I want to finish up college. I just want to be a good mother. Jasmine’s happiness is my number one goal. I want her light to shine on others.”
Over the years, I have read the Prayer of St. Francis thousands of times. What, however, is God calling me to do TODAY, and the weeks and months ahead in the midst of this pandemic?
How do you “stay at home” – when you don’t have a home? Our residents are three times more likely to contract the Covid-19 virus than the average citizen. We hope you will consider making a special gift to support our brave young people.
In our coronavirus world, we continually experience grace in action. Every day, we are blessed to witness so many simple acts of kindness and generosity.
Every day we are blessed to see the face of God in the faces of our young people. Always a blessing prior to the pandemic, it’s even more so now. The beauty of our young people—with or without masks—is the oxygen that propels us forward.
Tawana, a volunteer, a board member, and just an amazing person was a resident ten years ago. Last week, Tawana sent me the sweetest note.
Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, JAY-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, and Jack Dorsey’s Start Small have announced a major donation to Covenant House New Orleans. This gift will support critical, 24/7 services for homeless youth and children as our community faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our youth and children, despite the masks, still radiate goodness and beauty.
“Mama Foots” is an angel – a woman of deep faith. Every morning, she leads a group of the young men in prayer: giving thanks for blessings (like a new job), asking for strength and fortitude, and now… seeking protection from the Coronavirus.
As a Crisis Care Center providing critical 24/7 care to homeless youth in our community, we are on the front lines of this pandemic. We are committed to keeping our doors open to provide safety, shelter, and support to every young person who comes to us in need.
The first shoe to drop for the vast majority of our kids was their employment – over 85% lost their jobs this week. I know so many of our family and friends find themselves in the same predicament.