Prince William takes inspiration from Finland’s homelessness work

  • 29.6.2023
  • News

Finland’s homelessness work and Housing First model have received widespread international attention this week. Prince William announced on Monday that the Royal Foundation will launch a five-year homelessness programme in the UK. The aim is to show that it is possible to end homelessness and the programme draws inspiration from Finland.

Prince William’s Homewards project aims to end homelessness. The project will invest in homelessness work in six localities to demonstrate how, through collaboration and the necessary resources and support, homelessness can be prevented and eliminated. Cooperation between different actors is the cornerstone of the project – Homewards is based on the idea that homelessness is a societal issue that requires social response.

Finland’s good record in ending homelessness has been an inspiration for Homewards. The project has been years in the making and the work done in Finland has served as a model: cooperation and long-term commitment to ending homelessness have been identified as keys to success.

Juha Kahila, Head of International Affairs at the Y-Säätiö, told CNN how Finland has succeeded in ending homelessness. In the interview, Kahila highlighted the effective and straightforward recipe of the Housing First model. Homeless people need a home and support.

In Finland, the starting point for success has been favourable, as the elimination of homelessness has been taken as a common goal both politically and among housing actors. According to Kahila, there is no reason why good results cannot be achieved elsewhere:

The Housing First model can work and will work. But what we need now is the courage to take the action towards the Housing First Model so we can actually end homelessness and not just talk about it.

Y-Säätiö invests in international cooperation. The aim is to promote and develop homelessness work in Finland and elsewhere in the world. Last spring, the Y-Säätiö established the Nordic Homelessness Alliance, which aims to work together to create a world-leading model for ending homelessness.

Home for all tells the story of homelessness work in Finland, the Housing First model and the history of the Y-Säätiö.