The Stockholm City Mission has a model for preventing permanent homelessness, and to actively reduce the number of homeless persons. The model is called “housing first” which means that persons in need of housing should be provided an apartment first, and then be able to deal with other problems causing the situation:
“Traditionally, the view has been that a person should be able to show that they have their life in order before they get somewhere to live. We believe it is the other way around. It is almost impossible to come to terms with other problems when you live on the streets”, says Alexandra Wendt, coordinator at the Stockholm City Mission.
Having your own apartment, creates opportunities to prioritize yourself and your well-being. Housing First is based on an American model. Comparing to other models, where only 30 percent of the homeless persons managed to keep their apartments, this model has much better results. 85 percent manage to stay in their housing by the end of the programme.
“Thanks to housing and support, difficulties such as physical and psychological illness or addiction can be addressed. You can build your personal network and get a job.”
What is also special with Housing First is that the Stockholm City Mission has turned to private property owners for help.
“This programme is aimed for the some 500 homeless persons in Stockholm with the most need. Society as a whole gains from helping these people. The persons have fewer relapses and don’t risk as severe diseases as when they live on the streets”, says Alexandra Wendt. She adds:
Wallfast makes a difference to society by providing apartments to this project. It adds to a more humane city. It gives people a chance to build up their lives again.