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Home NATIONALHelsinki parishes to take in 1,000 refugees
Tue, 08 Sep, 2015 12:07:18 AM
Turku gives 6 places to Red Cross for refugees’ accommodation
FTimes – STT Report, Sep 8
One employee found to bring cloths for the refugees who took shelter in a Church in Helsinki. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Helsinki parishes have an emergency accommodation capability of up to 1,000 asylum seekers on a fast timetable. The necessary appropriate properties have been offered all over Helsinki. 
“More places can be arranged, if the situation worsens. Right now, we are waiting for a more accurate estimate from the city on the amount of assistance required,” Joint Church Council Chairman Juha Rintämäki told the news agency STT on Monday.
The explosive refugee crisis has occurred so suddenly that there are no ready-made approaches to coordinate emergency accommodation. The churches have sought to respond to the need rapidly, and the ordinary people of Helsinki have actively provided assistance.
Outside of Helsinki, temporary emergency accommodation has been provided at least in the Lieto parish. 
The Turku and Kaarina Parish Union have once again leased Turku’s Pansio reception centre to the Finnish Red Cross and allowed the organisation the use of a camping centre, which it owns jointly with the Piikiö parish.
Tent erected at Turku reception center to accommodate refugees. Photo – Str / Lehtikuva.
The Church Council encourages churches to cooperate with the reception centres. But the churches may decide independently on the use of premises or any other modes of assistance, such as collection drives and friendship initiatives.
Meanwhile, Turku has given six vacant properties to the Finnish Red Cross for emergency accommodation facilities for asylum seekers. The matter was settled by Turku’s city government on Monday.
The quickest of them to be pressed into service is an old youth hostel, where the Red Cross seeks to accommodate 80-100 people already this week. The Perno school which can hold 160 people is expected to be in use next week.
Establishment of new reception centres was also discussed Monday in a number of other municipalities.
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