20th Night of the Homeless on 17 October aims for a future without homelessness
The theme of the Night of the Homeless on 17 October is a future without homelessness. The citizens’ movement that has organised the event for 20 years calls for measures to combat homelessness. According to statistics compiled by ARA (Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland), there were 434 homeless people living alone in Espoo in 2021.
The provision of affordable housing at the municipal level is an important means of promoting access to housing for low-income singles and families and thus reducing homelessness. The longer a person is homeless, the harder it is to find an apartment.
Cities and municipalities decide on the construction of housing and the provision of housing for the homeless. Therefore, the societal decisions made by municipalities have long-term consequences for the future of homelessness and the wellbeing of residents.
Espoo’s City Council has set a goal whereby Espoon Asunnot will actively contribute to the reduction of homelessness. The aim is to increase the number of apartments offered to homeless people in Espoo. In the future, Espoo will monitor the achievement of this goal. Espoon Asunnot is the City of Espoo’s subsidiary and the largest provider of rental apartments in Espoo.
"This is a concrete measure by which Espoo demonstrates its commitment to halve homelessness. Even though the wellbeing services county will be responsible for housing support and adult social work in the future, it is important that cooperation continues with the housing services remaining with the city. We have to work together to achieve the common goal", says Tapio Nieminen, Manager of Adult Social Services at the City of Espoo.
Statistics on homelessness in Espoo
In November 2021, Espoo had a total of 528 homeless residents, of whom 434 lived alone, according to statistics from ARA. The number has increased slightly since 2020. Out of those living alone, 154 were long-term homeless (homeless for more than a year or repeatedly over the last three years). Among the homeless, there were 92 women, 103 young people and 108 people with an immigrant background. There were 31 homeless couples and families in Espoo.
The Government’s aim is to halve homelessness by 2023. The Ministry of the Environment has launched a three-year homelessness programme together with the largest urban regions, service providers and organisations. Espoo has prepared a plan for halving homelessness in the years 2020–2022. Multidisciplinary cooperation is carried out in Espoo to reduce and prevent homelessness.
Tapio Nieminen, Manager of Adult Social Services, City of Espoo, tel. +358 50 3286764, email@example.com
Jyrki Myllärniemi, Development Manager, Edistia, tel. +358 44 7273423, firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about homelessness on the City of Espoo website.
Night of the Homeless turns 20
The Night of the Homeless has been organised since 2002 on 17 October, which is also the UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The citizens’ movement behind the Night of the Homeless supports everyone’s fundamental right to permanent housing. The Night of the Homeless is religiously and politically neutral and one of the biggest annual events in the social and health sector.
Website of the national citizens’ movement: asunnottomienyo.fi(external link) (in Finnish)
Night of the Homeless events in Espoo
Espoo will be hosting many events on and around the Night of the Homeless, Monday 17 October. Organisers include operators from associations, parishes, and the City of Espoo’s units, as well as students from Omnia. The programme is subject to changes. More detailed event information is available in Finnish on the Facebook page of Espoo’s Night of the Homeless (Espoon asunnottomien yö).
Events in Espoo on the Night of the Homeless, 17 October
Espoon keskus: 17:00–20:00. Askel and Emy will serve sausages and soup and provide musical performances. You can also pick up hygiene products and donated clothes. A housing advisor from Espoo’s Adult Social Work unit and job coaching students from Omnia will be there to share information. The Espoo Cathedral Parish will organise a devotional service.
Espoon keskus: Trapesa will hold a panel discussion from 14:00 to 15:00. At its own event, Linkki will serve pea soup and distribute coats donated through Omnia’s winter coat campaign. Students specialising in preventive mental health and substance abuse work will be there to share information.
Järvenperä: 17:00–20:00. The crisis housing unit Viisikko invites you to visit their premises. The staff will distribute donated clothes and serve pea soup, hot drinks, and pastries.
Leppävaara: 16:00–19:00. Come and enjoy sausages and juice in front of the Sello Library. Organisers will distribute coats donated through Omnia’s winter coat campaign. You can also visit various information points and try your luck at the wheel of fortune. Students from Omnia will help out at the event. Organisers include the Sello Library, Espoon Illusia, Kela, Sininauhasäätiö, Essi-Allianssi, Irti huumeista, and the A-Clinic Foundation.
Lippulaiva: 13:00–16:00. Vegetarian pea soup and pancakes will be served in the yard of the Lippulaiva Library. Staff will distribute knitted garments and coats donated through Partioaitta’s winter coat campaign. Organisations will present their activities in the multipurpose room Salonki, and digital support will be available in the communal kitchen Kapyysi. You can also talk to a housing advisor or a financial and debt counsellor. Students from Omnia will help out at the event. Organisers include the Espoonlahti Parish, Esbo svenska församling, Kran rf, the Lippulaiva Library, Partiolippukunta Mesikämmenet, Kaverikammari, Kivenkolo, DigiOn, Emy, SPR, and Espoo Info.
Matinkylä: 17:00–19:30. Visit Naapuruustalo Matinkylä for guidance, singing and other activities. Outdoor candles will create a pleasant atmosphere. Staff will distribute coats donated through Partioaitta’s winter coat campaign. Students from Omnia will help out at the event. From 19:30 onwards, the event continues at Kaivo’s café. Coffee and meat pasties will be served. Organisers include Naapuruustalo Matinkylä, Wild Eagels ry, DigiOn, the Iso Omena Library, Kaivo, and Espoon Asunnot.
Olarinluoma: 13:00–19:00. Come and enjoy pea soup and hot drinks at the Olarinluoma reception home. Staff will distribute donated clothes. Needle exchange for users of intravenous drugs.
Tuomarila: 12:00–14:00. Manna-Apu will serve food at Manna-talo. Staff will distribute food aid and coats donated through the Partioaitta winter coat campaign. A job coach and job coaching students from Omnia will be there to share information. You can also visit the mobile library and enjoy music performances.
Events on other days:
Espoon keskus: Students from Omnia will organise an event on Wed 12 October from 10:00 to 14:00. Housing advisors from Espoo’s Adult Social Work unit and Espoon Asunnot will be there to share information (10:00–12:00). Other participants include Espoo’s food aid network and Manna-Apu (12:00–14:00), Irti huumeista ry and Huudikoutsit, Espoo Cathedral Parish (10:00–12:00), and Espoonlahti Parish (13:00–14:00). Financial counselling is also available.
Linkki’s outreach workers will be in Espoon keskus on Wednesday 19 October from 12:00 onwards. Coffee will be served.
- Adult social work services