The city would save 126,000 euros a year.
Espoo the city is looking for savings on the operation of the Girls’ House.
The operation of the house is intended to be transferred to the city’s own operations, thus saving 126,000 euros annually. The current employees of the house in Leppävaara would therefore not continue in the house, but would be replaced by the city’s own youth workers.
The savings are part of the economically sustainable Espoo program, which is already a suitable savings program for politicians in the city of Espoo last year. All the major parties in the previous Espoo Council, with the exception of the Greens, committed themselves to it.
Espoo The intention is to implement exactly the same activities open to girls, says the Espoo Youth Service Manager Merja Nordling.
“From the girls’ point of view, the action continues and that’s the most important thing.”
Workers who move into the house are youth workers who move to activities for girls for nine hours a week.
“This is not about undermining the services of these girls,” Nordling says.
However, the city only maintains open activities, and not, for example, numerous small groups, where activities have been partly more like social services.
The name Girls’ House will also have to be abandoned, as it is the property of the Loisto settlement. There are also girls’ houses in other large cities, and the first one opened in Helsinki in 1999.
In fact the savings decision would mean that there would no longer be a Girls’ House in Espoo, say Loisto setlement’s director of work Henna Kolehmainen and the corresponding director of the Espoo Girls’ House Maikki Arola.
Various groups that have been safe to join have been essential to the operation of the house, Kolehmainen says.
Now all group activities are under threat of closure. For example, the house has had an interaction group, a rainbow youth support group and an art group. The Girls’ House has also provided services that are not available elsewhere, such as youth support activities related to sexual violence experiences or support activities for young people living at risk of forced marriage or honor violence.
In addition, the age range of support activities for girls is narrowing. Youth activities are targeted at around 13–17-year-olds, while the activities of the Girls’ House have been available to 10–28-year-olds.
Nordling emphasizes that it is a question of savings, not of distrust of the Glory of the party that has organized the activities so far.
“They’ve been great at their own job, but somewhere those lasting savings have to be made.”
Glory in the settlement, city plans are a cause for concern.
“Saving on work with girls seems very short-sighted and incomprehensible, especially in light of the latest school health survey,” says Kolehmainen.
“Our work has focused on exactly the issues that come up in the survey. Stopping it may save you money right now, but it will cost you later. ”
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The Espoo Girls’ House has reached 700 young people a year. 350 young people are involved on a regular basis. Eighty per cent of them have an immigrant background.
Espoo’s economic guidelines are currently being discussed by politicians. However, the city’s strategy is likely to reinforce the previous city council’s policies on economic management and savings.