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Jakub’s story

When did you first start living in the halfway house?
Jakub: I came to DOM sometime in 2016. I think it was April, but I’m not absolutely sure. Since then I’ve been here. Now it’s the end of September 2017.

What was your situation before you came to DOM?
Jakub: About one and a half years before my arrival I lived comfortably with my sister and my mother. My mother had a restaurant which brought in money. But my mother surrounded herself with bad people, with drug addicts, and began to take drugs and drink alcohol. Hence the restaurant went bankrupt. Still we had savings. So we moved into a lower-priced flat where we lived for about half a year till we ran out of money. During that time, my mother didn’t work at all. She just consumed drugs and drank. Meanwhile she had changing boyfriends who were drug dealers, etc. The situation simply developed. All at once, we didn’t have a flat anymore. Therefore we lived alternately in different homes for mother and children. For some time I was with my grandmother, but there it was unendurable. Eventually the homes didn’t accept us anymore and my sister and I slept with friends, while not knowing the whereabouts of our mother as she somehow stopped being interested in us. We were with friends but couldn’t stay there forever. A social worker brought my sister to a diagnostic institute and I went to the House of Three Wishes. I was there for about ten days until the social worker helped me to come here.

How did you get to know about this halfway house?
Jakub: From the social worker. She told me about it.

What changes occurred after your arrival at DOM?
Jakub: I had to start to visit state offices to organise some money. They helped me a lot here. At first I had no idea at all about what I had to do and how. Thanks to my stay at DOM I’ve learned this. I can handle it fairly well – the offices, etc.

And how has your life changed?
Jakub: My life? Well, I know that I have a place to go to where I can sleep in peace. I know that I don’t have to be somewhere out there in a bus where it would be cold. I know that I can get up for school in the morning in peace. I’ll be showered and won’t smell.

Have you started to do something differently? Or was it possible for you to do something different from what you did before?
Jakub: Now I can easily meet with my friends whenever I want to. I don’t have to search for food. I just put everything in the fridge. I’ve started to work normally in order to earn something in addition. Previously it wasn’t possible because I had to track down food and a place for the night. Now I have a place to hide when I don’t feel well. I don’t have to be out there sitting on some stairs. I can come here.

We have already talked about it, but let me ask once more: How has your life changed since your arrival at the halfway house – regarding work, school, health and friends? Would you like to add something?
Jakub: In earlier times, when everything was still alright, I absolutely wanted a computer. But my mother sold it, because we needed money for the rent. So now I’ve started to buy things which I had always wanted. But before now I wasn’t able to save up for it. I have a better job, get more money. I spend more time with friends, can invite them to my place if I want to, watch a movie, etc.

Which change was the biggest or most important for you?
Jakub: I have become independent. This is what I’m most happy about. Because I came here, I got completely independent. In my opinion, I actually wouldn’t need DOM anymore. If I left from here now, I would probably manage. But still I’m here, because it is great here.

Why was this change for you the most important one?
Jakub: It was the most important one for me because everybody has to become independent. And I have a head start. I’ve become independent at 16, 17. Others get there later.

How did DOM contribute to this change?
Jakub: I’ve been told here how to deal with the offices and all that, where I have to go in case I need something.

Would you like to add something?
Jakub: Only that I’m very glad about the fact that I had the opportunity to be here at DOM. It’s lucky I got here.

Thank you for this interview.


We measure the impact of our activities.
Project: Stories from DOM.

For many years DOM has dedicated itself to disadvantaged teenagers and young adults, who are often invisible to the general public. These youth are “alone among people”. They have had a troubled childhood and have little or no support from their family. Their very serious difficulties can be incomprehensible to others. In our demanding society they manage neither to engage nor to assert themselves.
On the basis of long experience, up-to-date and professional resources and sophisticated methods, the experts at DOM “save the lives” of young people whose prospects seem hopeless when they are about to start adult life.

The project Stories from DOM was inspired by the idea that every client has a story of their journey which starts with an unfavourable situation and then progresses to personal development and positive change. This change and its recognition are the key topics of this project.

In order to measure our activities we use the MSC (Most Significant Change) method. You can learn more about MSC here:
www.mande.co.uk/docs/MSCGuide.htm