Shelter at Diakonitalo Hermanni

Contact info: Hämeentie 73
00550 Helsinki
Open every night from 9 pm to 7 am
Phone during nights: 044-2406455

Kalkkers night café

Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry (an NGO dedicated to those without a fixed abode) runs a night café, Kalkkers, which offers a place to stay for the homeless regardless of their residence status. Kalkkers operates during the winter season from October/November until April. Kalkkers is open from 10PM to 6AM.

Contact info: Vaasankatu 5, Helsinki; tel. +358 50 443 1068.


Every school-age child has the right to free basic education. To attend school, it is not necessary to wait to be registered in Finland or for a residence permit issue to be solved. The way to apply to school is by registering with your municipal education authority or with the nearest school. If a child does not speak or understand Finnish they often undergo some preparatory schooling first, during which they can fully focus on learning the language for one year.

In Finland many services are part of free basic education. Schoolchildren are covered by student welfare services and school health care. Every student is also entitled to a free daily meal. All school staff are bound by professional confidentiality.

More information about basic education in 12 different languages at Infopankki.

Advice and conversational support

Rikosuhripäivystys (RIKU) provides advice and support for victims of crime. They can also provide a personal support worker even before a police report has been filed. RIKU also operates a confidential telephone service, a legal advice telephone service as well as web services such as RIKUchat and RIKUnet.

The local churches also often provide guidance, advice as well as spiritual guidance. See Hermannin diakoniatalo.

Caritas Finland rf provides advice.

The Finnish Association for Mental Health provides a crisis service for foreigners. Contact telephone number: +358 9 41350501.

Hilma – The Support Centre for Immigrant Persons with Disabilities provides support and advice to immigrants with disabilities and long term illnesses.

Contact info: Marjaniementie 74, 00930 Helsinki; tel. +358 44 7577 099.

The Family Federation’s Centre for Multicultural Expertise offers advice, guidance and conversational support to all immigrant persons regardless of their status.

Contact info: Kalevankatu 16 b (3rd floor), Helsinki; tel. +358 9 228050.

Advice regarding residence status and rights

The lawyer from  Project for Undocumented Migrants (Paperittomat-hanke) offers advice regarding residence status and rights. The lawyer responds to telephone queries on Mondays from 3PM to 4PM, but it is also possible to call at other times. Our lawyer is also on call at the Global Clinic on Tuesdays.

Contact info: Kaisaniemenkatu 4 A, Helsinki; tel. +358 45 2377104, email:

The volunteers at the The Freedom of Movement Network (Vapaa Liikkuvuus) provide advice to foreigners every Wednesday from 5PM to 7PM at Kaarlenkatu 15, in Kallio, Helsinki. You can call first, or just show up. The line is open Monday till Friday from 10AM to 12PM.

Contact info: tel. +358 40 2410 662; email

Food aid

The special social services provided by the church at the Hermannin diakoniatalo are intended for the homeless, and those with no fixed abode. They offer food at a small fee (50 cents – 1 euro).

Contact info: Hämeentie 73, Helsinki.

Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry runs the volunteer and peer support center VEPA, where you can get food and water.

Contact info: Vaasankatu 5, Helsinki.


Everyone in Finland has the right to emergency medical care at their own cost. The duty of confidentiality of health care professionals is very comprehensive. They do not have the right to inform authorities about people residing in the country illegally.

Global Clinic

Global Clinic provides free health care services and it is operated by volunteer doctors. Global Clinic is open to all, regardless of nationality or migration status. They offer help free of cost, anonymously and confidentially. The staff at Global Clinic are committed to absolute confidentiality.

Global Clinic contact info: Helsinki, tel. +358 44 977 4547; Turku, tel. +358 46 625 1412; Oulu, email: and Joensuu: tel. +358 46 590 0186.

Health care services in Helsinki

Undocumented migrants have the right to urgent medical care just like anyone who is officially a resident. In addition to this, children and pregnant women have the right to some more comprehensive services. For example, children and pregnant women have the right to attend maternity and child health care services (‘neuvola’ in Finnish). The services will be offered in the health care centre that the undocumented person has contacted or where they have been directed to. More information about the health care of undocumented persons in Helsinki can be found here.


Here is some general information about life and services in Finland, in multiple languages:

Information about residence permits:

Activities and friends

The Finnish Red Cross offers many activities that are open to all. For example, they run a friendship program for anyone who is in need of interaction and peer support.

Monika – Multicultural Women’s Association (Monika Naiset ry) provides the chance to take part in activities anonymously. They organise multicultural women’s activities and specialized services for immigrant women and their children who may have been subjected to violence.

The Freedom of Movement network and the Association for Social Justice in Helsinki (Helsingin Sosiaalinen Oikeudenmukaisuus – HSO) hold the Coffee Without Borders open cafe free of charge every Wednesday between 6PM and 8PM. The cafe is open to anyone who loves freedom and dislikes borders.

Contact information: Kaarlenkatu 15, Helsinki.


VVA ry gives out clothes at Vaasankatu 5, Helsinki.

Emmaus Helsinki ry distributes shopping cards that can be used at their flea markets via charities. You can get a shopping card from the Project for Undocumented Migrants or the Freedom of Movement network.

Contact info: Mäkelänkatu 54 and Gyldenintie 2, Helsinki.

Church social services:

During certain hours (‘Päivätupa’ times) you can have a shower, wash your clothes and use the gym at Hermannin diakoniatalo.

Contact info for other parishes in Helsinki can be found here.