From custody to community

    Jacob, a foreign prisoner, came to us at YMCA following his release from prison. These situations are often more complex than just homelessness as the individual will also need help re-adjusting and re-integrating back into the community.

    We strongly believe that it was important for us to display an accepting and non-judgemental approach with this resident and this helped Jacob to settle down and be optimistic about his future. He was very appreciative of this opportunity and with the additional support, he was able to start to build his new life and lower the chance of recidivism.

    Jacob experienced a common barrier of no support and being unemployed with bad police conduct however with the help of YMCA residential support officers working at Dar Niki Cassar’ in collaboration with other organisations, he managed to get a job and also to start working on his education by taking English lessons. We made all necessary adjustments to accommodate Jacob in his difficult working hours and in giving him space to study. Our dedicated team also often assisted him whilst studying.

    With his residential support officer‘s help, he managed to find shared accommodation meaning that he would be able to move on to independent living. He was supported back into the community through maintained contact and also by helping him in the transition of moving into his new place.  He was given essential things like food donations, blankets and also English books in order for him to continue practising his English.

    Jacob is a very successful case and in order for him to show his appreciation, he still comes at times to visit us. Last time he came he even asked help for a friend and he was given the necessary information. Resettlement of homeless ex-offenders back into communities is an essential part of reintegration but often can be seen as challenging. With the outstanding determination that Jacob presented along with support and guidance from our dedicated team and care programme, Jacob was able to beat the odds and will be living independently within months.

    Dar Niki Cassar is a YMCA residential facility for homeless individuals, families, and children experiencing homelessness and rooflessness. Visit the YMCA Malta website at for more information about their services. You may send a blank message on 50619212 for a donation of €11.65.

    This is part of a series of blogs by YMCA Malta called Homeless but Hopeful