Why can we fly out of the solar system with Voyager but not solve a manageable global problem like homelessness? With heart and mind. Politicians are trying a little, but not consistently enough. Without creative solutions and a big master plan. No lobby to exert pressure. Too few voters. Too little money. Additional cosmetics instead of real solutions.
In rich Germany, 650,000 people do not have their own home. Most of them live in emergency accommodation. 48,000 are homeless on the streets. The EU has 700,000 homeless people, the USA 576,000.
But there is hope. In Finland. There, homelessness has shrunk like in no other country. NGOs and the government are working closely on pragmatic solutions. Homeless people are given their own homes so they can take control of their lives (Housing First Programme). 4600 flats are available.
With 35 square metres per person, one or two rooms, ba- throom and kitchen. Instead of the uncomfortable homeless shelters. The residents pay a cheap rent, half of the local rate. In return they receive housing benefit and social benefits. 80 percent were able to keep their flat at the first attempt. This means the state even saves 15,000 euros per homeless person per year. Alcohol abuse is declining. NGOs are taking care of psychological and drug problems.
Let’s handle it like the Finns. Worldwide. Let us act. Let us finally do away with homelessness.
We should adopt the Finnish model for reducing homelessness.