Helsingin Sanomat follows around a homeless bum for 24 hours. He gets 800 euros a month from his pension (damn, and this guy is still homeless?). After his divorce he started spending all his money on booze, “I would have sold the shirt off my back for booze” – Maybe if alcohol wasn’t taxed so high in Finland, he wouldn’t be so poor? And maybe if he wasn’t an alcoholic, he wouldn’t be so poor…
At five in the afternoon Reijo runs into another homeless man, Pepe. Pepe has a long beard and a lively disposition. Pepe is displeased because someone has broken into his lodgings and taken his tranquilisers.
Pepe wants to move to Tallinn, where living is less expensive, and Finnish social security benefits go further. Reijo thinks Pepe’s plan makes sense. He listens intently, until the men begin to argue. The argument is about whether or not female visitors need to be reported to the personnel at the dormitory during the night. Pepe thinks they do, Reijo thinks they do not.
[...]At half past nine a loose and somewhat menacing group has gathered on Vaasankatu. Kalkkers, a night cafÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© for the homeless, opens in half an hour, but one needs to arrive early to get in. Only the first 15 are admitted. The rest have to seek shelter for the night elsewhere.
If he cannot get into Kalkkers, Reijo sleeps in a stairway. Someone has suggested that committing a crime might be a good idea. You could get into jail for the winter.