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Finland Ends Homelessness Providing Shelter

Finland Ends Homelessness Providing Shelter

In Finland, the number of homeless people has fallen sharply. The reason: The country applies the “Housing First” concept. Those affected by homelessness receive a small apartment and counseling – without any preconditions. 4 out of 5 people affected thus make their way back into a stable life. And: All this is cheaper than accepting homelessness.

In 2008 you could see tent villages and huts standing between trees in the parks of Helsinki. Homeless people had built makeshift homes in the middle of Finland’s capital city. They were exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Since the 1980s, Finnish governments had been trying to reduce homelessness. Short-term shelters were built. However, long-term homeless people were still left out. There were too few emergency shelters and many affected people did not manage to get out of homelessness: They couldn’t find jobs – without a housing address. And without any job, they couldn’t find a flat. It was a vicious circle. Furthermore, they had problems applying for social benefits. All in all, homeless people found themselves trapped.

Finland is the only country in Europe where homelessness is in decline?

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The LORD said there will always be the poor, but it becomes our duty and obligation to care for them. Caring for them is the way we show the love and compassion our LORD has shown to us. Inevitably, we do this to the King who will separate the sheep from the goats at the time the Son of Man sits on His Thrown (Matthew 25:31-32)!

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