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The solution to homelessness that is currently being practised to such great effect in Finland is geared towards those with addictions – but is essentially no different to the Utah plan This Writer reported three years ago.

The benefits are the same – to the homeless and to society as a whole.

It is amazing, then, that there may still be “sceptics” arguing against this solution that saves money and resources.

Who are these people? Tories?

As homelessness has rocketed in the UK – up 134% since 2010 – it has fallen by 35% in Finland over a similar period of time. The Finnish government is now aiming to abolish it altogether in the coming years.

It turns out its solution is painfully simple and blindingly obvious: give homes to homeless people.

Sceptics will argue that giving homes to homeless people is a recipe for disaster. Aren’t we just subsidising addiction? Won’t we end up with huge bills when it all goes wrong? Don’t people need an incentive to get their lives back on track and engage in services?

Actually, no. The evidence from Finland – as well as numerous other pilot schemes across the world – shows the opposite is true. When people are given homes, homelessness is radically reduced, engagement in support services goes up and recovery rates from addiction are comparable to a “treatment first” approach. Even more impressive is that there are overall savings for government, as people’s use of emergency health services and the criminal justice system is lessened.

Source: Finland has found the answer to homelessness. It couldn’t be simpler | Harry Quilter-Pinner | Opinion | The Guardian


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