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Helsinki to Build Shelters for Homeless

The city of Helsinki plans to build shelters to house nearly 1,000 homeless people over the next three years. The newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reports that the city intends to construct 14 shelters around the capital. In addition, some homeless people will be provided with private flats.

Those in need of shelter include people with mental and behavioural problems, drug addictions and recently released convicts.

The project is part of a government plan to cut the number of people suffering from long-term homelessness by half by the year 2011. Finland has about 2,500 long-term homeless persons, 60 percent of whom live in Helsinki.

According to the joint proposal by Helsinki and the Finnish state, construction of the shelters will cost about 96 million euros. The state plans on working together with other municipalities as well to reduce homelessness.