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YMCA Malta is a non-profit and registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) that runs two residential shelters – Dar Niki Cassar and Y’Communal Home – for individuals and families with children who are experiencing homelessness, including survivors of domestic violence and gender-based violence. YMCA Malta runs the only service in Malta where the family unit is offered shelter on the same premises, thus keeping the family members altogether.
Dar Niki Cassar has a capacity of 35 beds, where residents can stay for up to 18 months. Residents are not only provided with a roof over their head but also food, clothing, support, psychotherapeutic services, and an individualised care plan according to the needs of the individual. Residents are also assigned a Residential Support Worker who will support the resident throughout their entire stay.
Y Communal Home caters for up to 14 individuals, for a period of up to 12 months and provides semi-independent accommodation to families and individuals while still benefiting from the care and support provided by the residential team at Dar Niki Cassar. Although the residential staff are not constantly present at the shelter, the residents are still provided with care and support by a multi-disciplinary team and have their own individualised care plan.
The residents in both shelters are supported by a multi-disciplinary team composed of social workers, youth workers, counsellors, therapists, and psychologists. The aim of both shelters is to assist the residents in moving on to independent living and reintegrating back into the community. YMCA provides basic shelter and nourishment to its clients and works on instilling in them a sense of hope for the future. YMCA addresses the needs of various client groups, including victims of domestic violence. This shelter is composed of people coming from different professions mainly psychotherapy, social work, youth work, psychology and counselling. This variation is helpful not only in the generation of ideas but also in looking at our clients from more than one angle: from the psycho-social sphere.