In the current project in Helsinki, the focus is directed on Aurora House. This house provides housing for 125 persons who have very different backgrounds and have repeatedly lost their homes.
They already have experience on supported housing, but they have lost it due to substance dependence or abuse, mental illness and somatic diseases. Most of them do not possess skills of sustaining a home.
The idea is to support tenants so that those who need a strong support by the community, will receive it. Those who want to stay separately, have an opportunity to do so. Residents sign a tenancy at will, which means that there are no trial periods, no fixed tenancies, no evictions.
The personnel are available 24/7 in the same building. Services are provided according to their individual needs and abilities that are subject to change over time.
The project is run by Helsinki Deaconess Institute.
The Helsinki metropolitan area includes the capital city of Helsinki and three surrounding cities. The world’s northernmost urban area has a population of over one million people.
Homelessness is most concentrated in this area, including more than 4400 homeless people (2010). The number of homeless people has however declined considerably in recent years thanks to the implementation of action plans within the Finnish Government’s Programme to Reduce Long-Term Homelessness in 2008-11. Now the government is preparing a continuation of the programme with the aim of completely ending long-term homelessness by 2015.