“The resiliency of the young people I have worked with is phenomenal and, I think, keeps me going,” says Megan at Eva’s Satellite.
When it comes to people experiencing homelessness, success is often defined as the big step of getting housed. But Megan Dealhoy would challenge that, especially when it comes to youth who have faced many difficult experiences and barriers in life. “We have to celebrate every single success with our clients, big or small, because along the way, nobody has celebrated those.”
Megan is Community Outreach Worker at Eva’s Satellite, our harm reduction shelter that specializes in supporting youth with addictions and mental health concerns. She acts as a connector between youth, the facility, and local supports and service providers. She works with residents directly at the same time that she connects Eva’s into cross-sector groups on issues as diverse as human trafficking and access to legal aid.
Her role as a bridge-builder has helped her develop a keen sense of successes, in all its forms. “If youth can overcome their addiction, that’s a big success in their own. If they can start going to their psychiatry appointments, that’s a huge success. Even if they’re not housed yet.” It can even be a matter of life and death. “Here we are, and we have this person’s life in our hands. We have to celebrate that, keep them going.”
Megan started into community work when she was a young person herself, doing many jobs to see what would really click. “Here’s a funny story,” she says, “one of those jobs was at Eva’s Place!” When she went to college, she found a child and youth worker program that she loved. “It found me, I think. What started as a summer gig as a teenager turned into my passion and my career.”
Megan describes herself as having a “never-give-up-on-you” attitude that she puts into practice every day, no matter what. And it’s inspired by the very residents at Eva’s Satellite. “The resiliency of the young people I have worked with is phenomenal and, I think, keeps me going.”
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