From Hopelessness to Hope: The Covenant House 47th Anniversary


St. John’s Social Justice chairman, Kevin M. Ryan, president and CEO of Covenant House and CBS’ 60 Minutes reporter, John Dickerson sat in the Little Theatre on Oct. 3 to commemorate the 47th anniversary for Covenant House, a privately funded agency and charity dedicated to serve for children, family and youth suffering from homelessness and human trafficking.

A video on display at the beginning of the event made the case that youth human trafficking remains a concern in the United States. “Those of you who are studying here, someone said to you, University yes you can,” Ryan said. “I’ll help you fill out the form, and those of you who work here, someone said, find community and hope for a new generation, so that was true for me and is the reverse for covenant house.” 

Ryan and Dickerson announced New York’s newly built Rights of Passage (ROP) Transitional Housing located on Ave. St. John’s in the Bronx.It is a 24-bed onsite and 4-bed offsite, which gears the unemployed for the working world.  The new location provides a range of short and long term living accommodations for single mothers. The new site also includes pediatrics, daycares and supermarkets. 

Covenant House is a center with 131 worldwide locations focused on the for the youth, physical and mental health programs, like family doctors, psychotherapy, and more. It also includes preparations towards independent living for those who’ve suffered a life in the streets, particularly the youth. Residents include teens of the LGTBQ+ community, those who are gang affiliated, young mothers, runaways, and more. 

The facility also incorporates programs such as street outreach , crisis shelters, GED adult education, and more to establish this.“If young people are experiencing a mental health problem we have a team, that team is working with a practice model dialogue, dialectical therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy,” Ryan said.

Finding philanthropic support is  more difficult. Nonetheless, Ryan refocuses on the little rewards that follow a residents progression. He informs us of why it remains imperative to advocate for youth homelessness, in spite of setbacks. Shortly after, Ryan declares the is opposite of the “let’s end world hunger” speech. 

He begins  by saying “One by one we can effectively end homeslessness;” but then he adds, “It’s essential to be thinking whether we can change that individual life one by one, and that’s God’s providence for CH.”