The Importance of Community Support

Patrick House is the location of one of SSJ’s Intensive Support Hostels and currently residing in one of the 57 rooms in the House in Millbrook is 23-year Jaike, pictured above with his support worker Natasha.

Natasha and Jaike at Patrick House

Last week I asked Jaike if I could talk with him about the recent small but significantly important welfare fund he received from SSJ and what it meant to him.  I explained that our supporters will want to understand what a huge impact their donations can have on those that are building a new life after homelessness and I’m so glad he agreed to an interview.

When I first met Jaike in a training room at Patrick House I was instantly bowled over by his positivity, charm and energy.  Within minutes we discovered a shared love of art and he was showing me some recent graphite drawings (tattoo designs) and WOW, they were amazing!  Throughout the interview his resilience, motivation and determination shone through and I was the one that left feeling motivated!


Jaike grew up within the care system and has not been a stranger to supported housing in his younger life.  He entered Patrick House in February after becoming estranged from his family and finding himself homeless.  Unfortunately, life had fallen apart for Jaike and he clearly recognises his part in this in fact he said “I had it all and p****d it up the wall!”.

The Welfare Fund

I first became aware of Jaike when his Support Worker reached out to our finance team to ask them to consider a welfare payment a few weeks ago. On entering Patrick House, Jaike remembered seeing something about an opportunity to train to work on the Railways.  With the support of staff at the house, Jaike made contact, attended the interview and got himself onto the Level 2 NVQ diploma in rail engineering and track maintenance.

His Support Worker explained that with 2 weeks to go on his course, Jaike had had his travel funding removed unexpectedly and the high cost of travel would have meant he could not afford to continue to attend the course within his current benefit payments.

Thanks to the generosity of community donations, the finance team were able to agree to part-fund his travel.  He said “I really appreciated it, it definitely really helped”. Jaike is now about to complete the course and already knows he has passed the theory and the practical bits and is about to graduate.  Congratulations Jaike!

Jaike was so enthusiastic about his course and showed pride in his own achievements particularly when he talked about passing the maths element which sounded so hard! He was particularly keen to tell me about a tool he had recently learnt about which he said was like “a spirit level on steroids”.

What’s next for Jaike?

Jaike graduates this week and he has big plans to reconnect with family demonstrating his new-found stability. He is waiting to move-on to a more independent property, pass the track safety course and then start agency work for the railways. And having seen his drive I absolutely believe he can do it!  He said he has so much drive now to not be a “wrong-en” for the rest of his life.  He said “negative situations just aren’t happening to me anymore”.

I asked Jaike what he will spend his first paycheck on, he said “nothing”!  I will save it, I have an ambition to save and new drive to do better.  I’m keen to invest in and develop property later in life.

What other support has SSJ given?

I asked Jaike about his Support Worker.  “Tasha? She is a legend, she’s my mate, we work really well together”.  Jaike told me that “lots of people in the house go to Tash, she’s helping a lot of people. She’s not just about 30 min appointments once a week, she is there when we need her.  She helps with timekeeping, getting me to appointments, helps get food, just generally helps with my wellbeing. She knows me”

Jaike believes that the most important thing is that Tash comes from the same background, he said, “it’s a great partnership”.  I felt privileged that Tash was comfortable enough to tell me that she is in recovery herself and before becoming employed in the sector, was supported by SSJ herself.  Jaike said, “if you haven’t been through it, you just don’t know”.  I asked Tash to tell me her thoughts on Jaike’s progress, she said:

Amazing, in just two months.  He could easily have still been out there, living the lifestyle he was.  He has so much potential, the way he talks, the way he interacts, he’s caring, always checks if you are alright, huge level of respect. He’s turning into a young gentleman.  He makes me really proud, the effort I have put in, he has given back. Makes it all worthwhile

We wish Jaike a lot of luck with his future endeavours and will keep in touch to find out how he gets on.

If you want to support those who are moving on from homelessness, please consider making a donation here.

Find out more about tackling homelessness.