Finland has tried an innovative and thoroughly unconventional strategy to defeat homeless. They have given them apartments to live in.
"Basically, we decided that we wanted to end homelessness, rather than manage it," says Juha Kaakinen, CEO of the Y-Foundation, which helps provide 16,500 low-cost apartments for the homeless.
How could they afford to provide housing for all those people? How much did it cost?
"the program pays for itself." As evidence, Kaakinen points to a case study undertaken by the Tampere University of Technology in 2011. It showed society saved $18,500 per homeless person per year who had received a rental apartment with support, due to the medical and emergency services no longer needed to assist and respond to them. "If anything the cost savings today is higher," she says.