Homelessness is a globally present social problem and various countries are applying various strategies in an attempt to end it or at least to decrease its true dimensions. Most countries invest into night shelters, hostels, transitional housing, invite citizens to donate money, cloths and supplies and to volunteer in local transition shelters. All of these methods are certainly helping to many people, but in a long run this obviously isn’t the definite solution, since the percentage of homeless people is pretty much constant or just slightly decreasing. There are many reasons how someone ends up in the streets and most of them are actually just one big life drama or bad financial decision. With this fact in mind, Finland has probably offered the best solution.
As mentioned before, strategy of helping homeless in most countries is based on the idea that occasional help from random people and institutions will suffice the basic needs of these people and enable them to solve their initial problems which will consequentially lead them to gaining their new house. Finland has reversed the approach. Their government invested into purchasing or building small houses and rented them to the homeless people right at the beginning. Their studies showed that these people have greater chances of restarting their lives with a housing problem solved. They pay the regular lease and support the services that receive.
Support vs. employing
Aside solving their houses, homeless people would be hired or at least volunteered at various institutions and get the support in exchange. The support would include either money or food, cloths and other personal necessities. This means that basically none of this would be gifted to the homeless, except the slate clean chance. All the gained stuff would be repaid through jobs and other mandatory activities over the years to come.
Learning lessons and reintegrating
Regardless of the initial reason that pushed these people to the bottom, all homeless are obligated to search for counseling and professional help. This includes medical care, legal and financial support, psychotherapies, often even substance abuse treatments. These reintegration programs cost a lot and the best solution would probably include both government’s financial support, donations from citizens and experts’ volunteering. The main goal is to help homeless people learn their life lessons, correct their mistakes if there were any, cope with the lose they’ve been through, equip themselves with a better life approach and start all over again.