Whereas the number of homeless people has been skyrocketing in Europe in recent years, Finland is the only European Union member state to have nearly eliminated the problem. Only around 3,600 people in Finland are currently without a roof over their head, and the country aims to end homelessness by 2027. How did they do it? A concept called Housing First informs their approach: Housing First entrusts housing to people without requiring that they first become sober or get a job. "By giving people a home, we are creating structures. Once that is in place, we can talk about everything else," said Harri Ollinen, a social worker in Finland. Another pillar of their success is investing in affordable housing. Another component of their success: empathy training, both for the formerly homeless and neighbors living near welfare housing developments. The program is beneficial from an economic point of view. Since 2012, the state has calculated it saved almost €32 million annually.

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