Finland’s remarkable success in reducing homelessness is often credited to the innovative Housing First approach. This model offers stable housing as the primary intervention, complemented by essential support services to address the root causes of homelessness and help individuals rebuild their lives. Amid the escalating homelessness crisis in the United States, evidence-backed solutions like Housing First often take a back seat to counterproductive measures like criminalizing poverty and conducting homeless sweeps. While skeptics argue that Finland’s achievements cannot be replicated in America, Invisible People embarked on a transformative journey to Helsinki, Finland, to explore the potential of implementing the Housing First approach on a large scale in the United States. What’s even more striking is that Housing First was born in America. Yet, Finland has embraced it and witnessed an incredible reduction in homelessness, plummeting from over 20,000 homeless people to less than 4,000 in just a decade.
Countless media outlets have highlighted Finland’s achievements in homelessness reduction, with the Housing First model at the forefront. However, our investigation uncovered that the Finnish approach goes beyond Housing First. Finland’s strategy involves prioritizing the development of affordable housing and cultivating a culture genuinely dedicated to improving homeless services to house people quickly and permanently. While Housing First has played a significant role in their success, it’s just one piece of the puzzle.
Unlike the United States, where the emphasis often lies solely on housing placement, Finland recognizes that people need more than just a roof over their heads to thrive. In Finland, they prioritize placing the individual within the housing unit, ensuring that they have a sense of purpose rather than merely survival.
Invisible People is known for its dedication to telling the authentic stories of homelessness, offering viewers a raw and unfiltered glimpse into the lives of those experiencing it firsthand. In this special episode, we take our commitment to authenticity to the next level by providing the most genuine and comprehensive look into Housing First that has ever been captured on video. Our mission is to shed light on the realities of homelessness, challenge preconceptions, and explore viable solutions. Join us as we dive deep into Finland’s remarkable approach, presenting an authentic narrative that showcases the transformative power of compassionate policies and affordable housing.