Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘It’s a miracle’: Helsinki’s radical solution to homelessness

Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images – Finland is the only EU country where homelessness is falling. Its secret? Giving people homes as soon as they need them – unconditionally

Tatu Ainesmaa turns 32 this summer, and for the first time in more than a decade he has a home he can truly say is his: an airy two-room apartment in a small, recently renovated block in a leafy suburb of Helsinki, with a view over birch trees.

“It’s a big miracle,” he says. “I’ve been in communes, but everyone was doing drugs and I’ve had to get out. I’ve been in bad relationships; same thing. I’ve been on my brother’s sofa. I’ve slept rough. I’ve never had my own place. This is huge for me.”

Downstairs in the two-story block is a bright communal living and dining area, a spotless kitchen, a gym room and a sauna (in Finland, saunas are basically obligatory). Upstairs is where the 21 tenants, men, and women, most under 30, live…

Click here to view original web page at theguardian.com

Comments are closed.

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.