Finland’s Solution

Finland is having success in lowering the number of un-housed individuals in their country, and their using a housing first model to do so. Alppikatu 25 is at the center for Finland’s new policy to end homelessness. It runs off of the aspirations and concrete measures of the National Program to End Long-term homelessness (PAAVO). On of PAAVO’s cornerstones is the strategy of replacing temporary housing with permanent housing, with rental contracts. In the city of Helsinki, the change can definitely been seen. In 2008, there were almost 600 beds in shelters and hostels in Helsinki. Now, there is only one permanent service center for emergency accommodation with 52 beds. There have been some important insights from what Finland has done. First off, it may sound simple, but it is crucial to have housing before you try and implement housing first. Also, it is important to offer different housing alternatives, in different types of communities and things of that nature. Finland has been one of the few countries where homelessness has decreased. They have worked effectively at targeting the most vulnerable and long-term homeless people.