One of the most damaging things that can happen to a person is losing their place to live. Unluckily an approximate of more than 150 million people or 2% of the world’s population remain homeless. It’s an issue faced by both developing and developed countries, but some are steps ahead than others.
For instance, Finland took on a Housing First Policy becoming the only country where there was a declination in homelessness. Of course homelessnes declined from 40% over a long term period to only 4341 people at the end of 2020. Finland’s population is around 5.5 million which means only about 0.08% of them are homeless.
The only country in the EU whose homelessness is decreasing was Finland.
Prior to 2008, the government of Finland tried to overcome the problem of homelessness. However, it didn’t workout for them so well. Building short term shelters couldn’t eradicate long-term homelessness. Still there were about 8,000 homeless people. Finding a job for the is an impossible task as they lacked a permanent residence to reside. On the other hand, affording to pay rent was not possible without any income. Therefore it’s a harsh cycle.
To make things worse there were even villages of tents at the centre of the city. In 1987 according to an analysis which was collected there were about 18,000 homeless people. The present Government is dedicated to reducing 50% of homelessness by 2023 and bringing an end to it by 2027.
There is a very less number of homeless people that even people tend to go and say the country put an end to it.
Is there any secret, you might ask? Fine, back in 2008 the government of Finland thought of taking a different and unique approach on people’s wellbeing. They decided to give people places to live in. It doesn’t matter the way a person becomes homeless, he or she will be provided a home plus support.
There are 0 requirements and goals someone has to match in order to reside there. No one has to find a job or become sober to get a home. The purpose of Housing First was to eliminate problems that would put a person in the homelessness state, they need steady housing. For instance, they aren’t able to take control of their desires if they are evicted the next day from a shelter.
The Homeless people count went from 19000 in 1987 to 4341 in 2021 in Finland.
The solution to the problem involved providing homeless people with homes and support to help get back a normal life.
Further support is given to these people when they are given the chance in reconstructing relationships with friends and family. Also they are given the support to build new relationships. Many suffer from mental and medical conditions that need to be looked into. Some don’t have proper education or the required skill set that is important to work at a job. Taking these issues into consideration The Housing First program targets to support all of that. As a result of this support system the affected 4 out of 5 people find their way back into a substantial life.
4 out of 5 people start living a normal life
To achieve this, Finland invested a huge amount of money. Obviously, because houses were required to move in the homeless people. Therefore flats were purchased from the private market, new buildings were built, and old buildings were renewed. Evidence suggests that the investments pay off and it’s more inexpensive with no homeless people by providing them residence. Also it should be mentioned that it’s the right and best thing to do.
In order to work, Housing First should be nationwide, not just only individual projects. Also, it should be affordable. Staff who can aid people who have been living a dissimilar lifestyle should be hired and trained.