Having a roof over your head is a fundamental right, and yet by the end of 2014 there were 7,107 displaced people in Finland – more than half of them in the capital. The UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed today Saturday as the Night of the Homeless in Finland, where homelessness has decreased.
Tonight Saturday, October 17 is the UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP). In Finland that day is traditionally the annual Night of the Homeless, a series of events across a number of cities that draw attention to the problem of homelessness.
A majority of those without a permanent residence are living temporarily with their friends or family. More than half of long-term homeless people in Finland live in Helsinki, whose housing prices have frequently been called «absurd» and compared with New York City’s rents and house prices.
At the end of 2014 there were an estimated 7,107 homeless in Finland, but not all of those without permanent residence can be accounted for in estimates. Statistics show that of those homeless nearly 1,500 are immigrants, and their proportion has risen in recent years.
Nonetheless, Finland is one of the few EU countries where homelessness has gone down as a whole.
The Night of the Homeless is a citizens’ movement with several sponsors such as EHYT, the Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention. Events will be organised or observed in more than 20 cities, with symbolic candles lit at 7 pm across the country.