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Markéta’s story

Do you remember when you arrived at the halfway house?
Markéta: It was February.

So you have been here for four months.
Markéta: No, it’s already the second year. Well, actually one and a half years, since February 2018.

Where did you stay before you came to the halfway house?
Markéta: I lived for a while with the family of my boyfriend.

And how was your situation before your arrival at the halfway house? Was it difficult?
Markéta: Before my time at DOM I was in a very difficult situation. I lived with my mother in a hostel. After a while she got a job offer for a business trip to Africa. Because we didn’t have enough money, she decided to accept the offer. After my mother left, the owner threw me out due to unpaid rent. I had to find something as fast as possible, because otherwise I would have had to live on the street. At the end, I was allowed to live with my boyfriend and his family, because there was nobody from my own family I could have gone to. After a while, living with my boyfriend didn’t work anymore. Once again, I had to look for an alternative accommodation option. And that’s how I got to know from a social worker about DOM. I tried my luck, called and since then I’m living here.

What were your expectations of the halfway house?
Markéta: I expected it to help me to stand on my own feet and to somehow live my life. When I arrived, I expected that I would have to organize everything myself. I never would have thought that someone would care about me, advise me on how to deal with various problems, or that I would go to counseling where the social worker would help me to reconcile with everything – past and present.

How has your life changed during your stay at the halfway house?
Markéta: I quickly paid my debts, so that now I can do basically anything. I have found work and have money. I have learned a few things. Before I was horribly nervous and I had a terrible rage inside of me. To be here has helped me.

Can you tell what was different or new living here in comparison to before?
Markéta: Previously I made my own rules. I simply didn’t listen and did what I wanted to. And here there were suddenly rules, counseling interviews and a community. I couldn’t stand it. I just had a very big problem to obey.

And how did this change?
Markéta: After about a month or two I got used to it and then it worked.

How has your attitude toward life changed during your time at the halfway house?
Markéta: Now I feel a lust to live. Life isn’t as hectic anymore. Previously, I had to move again and again. Now I’m in one place. I have peace of mind and know what is next. I just don’t have to worry so much anymore.

This sounds good. Maybe a little more detail. What has changed in the areas of work/education? You said you have found employment.
Markéta: I had short term jobs. When I had a place to live, I was offered a permanent position. This was an improvement. I had more money, a permanent job and therefore, financial security.

How have your relationships with people changed?
Markéta: Thanks to DOM I became more self-confident and therefore I decided to meet my brother in order to see him again after a couple of years. I used to be very introverted before. But here at DOM this changed, although not completely. A little bit of the introversion remained. But here, when you meet people, who you find likeable, it changes. Suddenly I no longer wanted to be shut between four walls, but I wanted to be among the people who form the community at DOM.

Have you found or looked for new friends?
Markéta: Not exactly. More so people who I can speak with when I’m in the mood to be with someone.

Which change was the biggest or most important after your arrival at the halfway house?
Markéta: The most important? That I paid all my debts was for me the most important, because I didn’t want debt enforcement. After debt enforcement, I wouldn’t have a chance to live in a flat as I had hoped and I couldn’t afford the things I want. I’d like to go on vacation somewhere. After debt enforcement, I couldn’t do any of these. The debt would grow. I would go to work, but they would take almost all my money.

But now you can live.
Markéta: Yes, now I can live.

And how did DOM contribute to this change?
Markéta: They kept persuading me to take care of it all. I was just like that: someone who didn’t care. Just like, “Yeah, I have debts. So what? My parents also have debts and have been able live with them.” But my therapist here kept reminding me of it and pushed me to it. Thanks to that, I paid my debts and settled everything.

Would you like to add something?
Markéta: For me, DOM – the social workers and the other clients – is something like a family. Everyone here is nice and kind. When you arrive here, it is often with a feeling that you cannot get anywhere, and basically with resistance. But as soon as you realize how things work and how people behave, you don’t want to leave once the time comes. Anyone lucky enough to come to DOM can trust that this halfway house will give you a lot to be happy about.

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:
The ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique
A Guide to Its Use by Rick Davies and Jess Dart