Written by Shawn Ruest on 01/08/12
For those of us who haven’t heard of it before, couch surfing is when someone crashes on other people’s couches instead of staying at their own place. A first impression we might get is that couch surfers are just being moochers. I wasn’t sure about them either, but then there was someone I met who made me think twice about it…
He was a grade 9 youth who told me that couch surfing is common where he lives, because many homes are overcrowded. His house was so cramped by many of his family members, that he decided to move in with his girlfriend. He still sees his family all the time, but moving made things a bit easier for everyone. So this story got me thinking, if some people are couch surfing because they have to, how many other things have I been quick to judge?
There are still other reasons why people choose to couch surf. Some will decide to couch surf so they can save a little bit of money while they travel. They may crash at friend’s place, or they might look online to see if anyone is offering a couch to sleep on. Using the Internet can be little bit sketchy because you never really know if the couch owner is a reliable person or not. So, if you know someone who is tempted to try couch surfing to save some cash, you can refer them to our Youth Discounts page.
For others, couch surfing isn’t a holiday, it’s a way to feel safe; they may be trying to get away from problems that are happening at home. If this is the case for you or someone you know, a service like Kids Help Phone will be able to help find a solution.
Anyone who is couch surfing will have their own reasons for it. If someone tells us that they are couch surfing because they don’t feel safe, we might have a shot to make a difference in their life. We can be supportive and let them know that help is out there.