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Street beggars prefer to live in vehicles

Eastern European Roma beggars operating in Helsinki prefer to live in vehicles and are increasingly working as street performers. Panhandlers have become aware of services aimed specifically to help them.

Image: Yle

The Helsinki Deaconess Institute reports a 30 percent increase in the use of their services by beggars since last summer. Children now account for over ten percent of all visitors.

A City of Helsinki working group monitoring the activities of beggars says it has received several complaints from local residents concerning litter and disorder near the institute’s service point located in the Sörnäinen district.

The working party will examine possibilities to move the service point to more appropriate premises outside the city centre later this summer.

Both the City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Deaconess Institute maintain the Hirundo day centre which is mainly used by people from Bulgaria and Romania.

The centre offers washing facilities, a place to eat one’s own food, wash clothes and use the internet. Hirundo also advises in case of acute illness and provides information about Finland.