Y-päivä highlighted the importance of cooperation 5.2.2024News Y-päivä brought together Y-Säätiö’s partners and housing professionals to reflect on the future and opportunities for impact and change under the theme “A better tomorrow together”. Towards the Ending of Homelessness In the first speech of the day, Teija Ojankoski, the CEO of Y-Säätiö, gave an overview of the Foundation’s activities and spoke about Finland’s strengths in ending homelessness. Last year, the Y-Säätiö renewed its strategy with the key objectives of economically and socially prosperous residents, transition to carbon-neutral living and the ending of homelessness in Finland and reduction of homelessness internationally. In her speech, Ojankoski stressed the importance of structures to prevent homelessness. State-subsidised housing and extensive social security create housing stability and keep the risk of homelessness low. Homelessness has been successfully eliminated in Finland through a holistic approach and the Housing First model. It is important to make these structures permanent, Ojankoski stressed at the end of her speech. Emma-Stina Vehmanen said that in the challenging economic situation in the construction sector, the balancing role of Ara production is becoming more important. Emma-Stina Vehmanen, Special Adviser to Minister Mykkänen, gave an update on the Government’s housing policy. Vehmanen said that the government attaches great importance to homelessness work and presented the programme to eradicate long-term homelessness. The programme involves the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, cities, organisations and, for the first time, wellbeing services counties. As part of the programme, cities and wellbeing services counties will draw up joint implementation plans to eradicate long-term homelessness. Sustainabilitiy and cooperation In line with the theme “A Better Tomorrow Together”, the audience of Y-päivä heard about the activities of Y-Säätiö’s partners. A common thread running through the day was the importance of collaboration in achieving shared goals and the importance of sustainability, which is strongly reflected in the activities of the participants. Eero Rämö pointed out that eliminating homelessness would reduce inequalities in society and increase resilience. It is not only about charity, but also about important work for social resilience. Punainen Risti on yksi Y-Säätiön perustajista. Pääsihteeri Eero Rämö kertoi Punaisen ristin toimivan periaatteella tarpeista toimintaa. Kun Y-Säätiötä perustettiin, yksinäisyys tunnistettiin isoksi ongelmaksi, jota säätiö lähti ratkaisemaan asunnottomuutta poistamalla. Rämö nosti esiin nuorten asunnottomuuden: joka viides asunnoton on alle 25-vuotias. Punaisen ristin Nuorten turvataloilla näkyy nuorten tuen tarpeiden kasvu ja palveluiden kyvyttömyys vastata tähän. Rami Erkkilä spoke about the growing importance of the environmental impact of construction and its measurement. Rami Erkkilä, Senior Specialist at Kuntarahoitus, spoke about responsible construction and financing. Kuntarahoitus takes sustainability into account from the perspective of both the welfare society and climate and environmental friendliness. Government-supported housing production can combine these themes, as Erkkilä pointed out that non-profit housing production enables sustainable housing and lifestyle also for low-income people for whom it might not otherwise be possible. Service Area Director Minna Kiviaho and Unit Director Niina Leskinen presented the work of Rinnekoti’s Housing First project and introduced Wäylä in Järvenpää, which combines a subsidised housing unit based on the Housing First model, the Wärtsi civic centre, a health advice centre and affordable rental housing in the same building. Close cooperation with the wellbeing services county has enabled flexible access to services for residents and clients of Wäylä and Wärtsi. Niemikotisäätiö was selected as Y-Säätiö’s partner of the year 2023. Seppo Eronen, Executive Director of Niemikotisäätiö, accepted the award. The impressive activities of the Niemikotisäätiö were presented in the afternoon by Seppo Eronen, Executive Director. At the end of Y-päivä, Eronen took to the stage for the second time to receive Y-Säätiö’s Partner of the Year Award. The choice was based in particular on the Niemikotisäätiö’s determined development work, the excellent well-being of its employees, the involvement of service users in co-development and the pioneering nature of its recovery orientation. In their speeches, Pekka Hyysalo and Saku Tuominen challenged the Y-päivä audience to think about what is possible. The value of cooperation was also highlighted in a presentation by Juha Kahila, Head of International Affairs at Y-Säätiö. Kahila said that international interest in the work being done in Finland was enormous and recommended that people should take a look at recent documentaries that show the results of cooperation in the field and the work itself. BBC audio documentary and Invisible People’s Youtube documentary: The next Y-päivä will take place in spring 2025 and will mark the 40th anniversary of Y-Säätiö.