It was seven years ago when Arvo (not his real name) first walked into this building. Back then, it was a hostel for homeless men run by the Salvation Army and had a certain reputation. Arvo can still remember opening the door to his dormitory. There were three men sitting on their beds, their faces sullen and melancholy. This would be his new home for a while.
Arvo had been down and out already for a while, staying with some of his few remaining friends and occasionally hanging around in public places, stations and staircases. His ex-wife and their daughter were now just a fading memory. Staying at the hostel was better than nothing, but hardly more than that.
SOURCE: Juha Kaakinen. “Housing first: How Finland is ending Homelessness.” OECD, March 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia