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Finland: The Night of the Homeless 2001

No Fixed Abode | 17.10.2001 16:19

An event called The Night of the Homeless will be organized throughout Europe also this year. The idea of the event originates from Finland, where it has been organized twice so far. Both citizens and media have shown growing interest towards the event, which will be organized on Oct. 17 -18, known as the United Nations' official day against poverty.

Last year, the event was organized for the first time on an international level. It was held in eleven towns in Finland, and in Stockholm and Prague. The main co-ordinator is Finnish NGO called No Fixed Abode (Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry), but dozens of other organizations have taken part in the arrangements as well.

The purpose of the event is to remind people that homelessness is a problem which concerns Europe as a whole and that homeless people lack basic human rights.

The themes of this year's event are as follows. They can be specified according to the needs of individual towns and countries.

1. Homelessness is a problem that concerns Europe as a whole—it should not to be tolerated

2. Maintaining homelessness equals expensive housing and social policy. A month in a dormitory costs much more than the monthly rent of a council flat. Homeless people are more in need of health care and social services than those who have a permanent home. This is not reasonable policy.

3. Evictions must not be accepted - all possible means must be used to prevent evictions!

4. Homelessness must not be reduced - it must be abolished

The symbol of the event is fire. We hope that all European countries and towns taking part in the event will at least light bonfires, around which different activities can be arranged. For example authorities and other people concerned with the matter can be invited to visit the locations. In Finland, the President and the Minister of Housing, among others, have paid visits to the event. We have received positive comments on the impression that the event has made.

We warmly welcome both old and new participants to organize the Night of the Homeless with us!

With regards, Maisa Kuikka /Vva

Further information

Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry, Maisa Kuikka
Vaasankatu 5 F, 00500 Helsinki
Tel. +358415179511, +358400880213, +35897015338

No Fixed Abode
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