Stories from residents

The residents of the Y-Homes say a home enables them to have a better future.

Male, 58: “Things are good as they are”

“I lost my own apartment in 2010 because of alcohol. I initially spent a month in hospital because of health problems. From there, I was directed to a supported housing unit meant for substance abuse rehabilitees for six months. After that I lived in a unit with social services meant for the long-term homeless for four and a half years.”

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Female, 59: “I’m someone again”

“I could never have imagined that I would become homeless. In the summer of 2014, they started renovating the facade of the building in Espoo where I had a city rental apartment. I have asthma, so I couldn’t stay there. I decided to end the tenancy. I thought I would find a new apartment by the autumn.”

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Male, 18: “Even cleaning feels different”

“I got my own room for the first time in my life when I moved into my own flat a bit over two months ago. Previously I’ve lived at my mum or dad’s with my siblings. Sometimes there were even four of us siblings under the same roof. For the last three years we lived in a two-room apartment with my dad and little brother.”

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Male, 44: “No one gets sober when they are homeless”

“My housing situation has been quite the roller coaster ride. Every once in a while I meet a woman, move into her place and then stupidly terminate my own lease. And when we’ve eventually broken up, I’ve been the one who’s had to leave. Over the years, there have been periods when I’ve been living in parks, public toilets, stairwells and paper recycling bins. At times I lived in a car.”

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Male, 48: “I got really lucky”

“I moved to Finland from the United States in 2009. Back there I had a nice apartment and a successful business. When the financial crisis hit, I knew things were going to be bad in America for a long time. My father is from Finland so I did some research and found out there was a market for my business. I left a lot of things behind me, but I would not have been able to live with myself if I hadn’t tried it.”

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