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Helsinki seeks to eradicate homelessness by 2025

Helsinki seeks to eradicate homelessness by 2025

It is hosting a two-day event to help homeless individuals this weekend

Every year since 2002, the Finnish capital has held a “Homeless Night” event to help those without access to housing. With this event, the City of Helsinki reminds individuals that housing is a fundamental right and that society plays an important role in eradicating homelessness. This year, “Homeless Night” will take place both in physical and virtual format on 15-17 October.

Winter clothing and sleeping bags

Last month, the A-Clinic Foundation and the Preventative Substance Abuse Association collaborated to organise the Donate Heat project. Since September, most of the city’s libraries have installed collection points for winter clothing, such as wool socks, gloves, and hats.

The project’s organisers will help distribute these items on Sunday in Vallila, Dallapénpuisto. In addition to distributing these items, the organisers will also offer vitamins, hygiene products, and sleeping bags. Annuska Dal Maso from the A-Clinic Foundation commented on the importance of the latter, noting:

“In Finland, especially in winter, you don't sleep on the streets, but in the stairwell, in night shelters or on the sofas of acquaintances; the sleeping bag not only warms but also brings security. You can put your most important property in there.”

Individuals will also have the opportunity to access services such as haircutting and testing for hepatitis C.

Eradicating homelessness by 2025

The main event this weekend will take place virtually on Sunday 17 October, marking the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Moreover, the Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs and Health Daniel Sazonov will give the opening speech.

“No one should have to think about where to sleep the next night. Helsinki is currently renewing its city strategy. We are setting a goal of ending homelessness by 2025. I am very pleased that this concrete and ambitious goal was set. The goal is hard, but not impossible,” Deputy Sazonov commented.

According to the City of Helsinki, there were over 4,000 single people and 200 families/couples without access to housing at the end of 2020. With events such as “Homeless Night”, the Finnish capital aims to raise awareness and help eradicate this issue.

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