Mother and two small children looking at the tablet

Tampereen ensi- ja turvakoti ry

A new shelter meets the need in Tampere

New shelter facilities were implemented in Kaukajärvi, Tampere, in April 2022. In Pirkanmaa, the demand for spaces suitable for families in shelters had not been met for a long time. Statistics from last year prove the harsh situation: over 200 people who came to the shelter had to be sent elsewhere in Tampere. The new shelter in Kaukajärvi was developed and is owned by Hoivatilat.

Tampereen ensi- ja turvakoti ry

Client Tampereen ensi- ja turvakoti ry

Tyyppi Shelter

Location Tampere

Vacancy count 18 customer rooms

Completion time April 2022

Founded in 1945, Tampereen ensi- ja turvakoti ry provides services for families with children and the elderly in both open and institutional services, and the association employs nearly 100 people. Maria Länsiö, Executive Director of the association, was the driving force of the space project, and the atmosphere since the implementation of the new premises has been very positive:

The facilities are really nice in every way. It’s great to work and provide services in a building designed together and purely for the shelter environment.

The 1,000-square-foot building has two different shelter units, Anna and Kaisa, under the same roof. They are almost identical: both have nine customer rooms and common areas, such as large kitchens with dining and living areas. Working facilities include an office, a social worker’s room, a childcare room and two meeting rooms, the larger of which can be divided with a soundproof wall. According to Länsiö, one of the most wonderful things is the closed and safe yard with its terrace, where you can find a sandbox and swings as well as seating groups.

A common will was quickly achieved

The new shelter facilities were enabled by funding granted by the Finnish institute for health and welfare (THL). When we started mapping premises a couple of years ago, the primary goal of the association was to find an existing building that could be modified and rented for shelter use. However, the task proved impossible.

At the same time, new shelters had been completed in the Helsinki metropolitan area, the purchase method being a lease model and the implementation being carried out by Hoivatilat. When discussing their construction projects and completed facilities with colleagues there, Maria Länsiö was convinced; although new construction takes time, the end result is so good that the possibilities for a similar implementation in Tampere must definitely be explored.

We had just the kind of facilities we wanted. The comments of colleagues about the positive cooperation with Hoivatilat were also very influential.

When we got moving, the pace was brisk. We looked for funding, we looked for a plot, we had an architect designing it. According to Länsiö, things went more than well: The City of Tampere had a strong understanding of the need, and the plot process progressed with astonishing speed.

Länsiö mentions having been quite nervous about starting the construction project; there is a lot of talk about risks, and she also had some doubts about her own expertise. However, those worries quickly subsided and she felt safe throughout the journey. Indeed, she describes her relationship with Hoivatilat as love at first sight.

— A common will was quickly achieved. We got our message through very well, and they always had time and patience to explain things that are not familiar to us, recalls Länsiö.

Länsiö adds that she always had the feeling that Hoivatilat genuinely wants to build a good building. When the developer remains the owner, it is also in their interest that the building is without fault. It calmed the customer’s mind, and the cooperation turned out to be easy and natural in every way.

Länsiö tells a nice story about naming the facilities. The shelter units Anna and Kaisa are named after chairman of the board Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki. When entering the meeting room at the shelter, you walk into Ari – the room bears the name of Ari Hyvärinen, the development manager of Hoivatilat.

— Ari is an absolutely fantastic professional. It was truly inspiring to work with him. We wanted to thank Ari, and even though we had to say goodbye to him after the facilities were completed, he is now a part of everyday life.

When the project was started, the association felt that the building would become primarily a building for employees. So, for example, instructors working in everyday conditions gave their expertise in design, which fits in perfectly with Hoivatilat’s approach to inclusive design. Account Director Jussi Vikman, who was responsible for the development of the project on Hoivatilat’s side, is also delighted with the efficient cooperation in implementing the new shelter:

— The people of Tampereen ensi- ja turvakoti, led by executive director Maria, have been very active and contributed to the implementation of the project in the best possible way.

Maria Länsiö took the advice of colleagues with experience in similar projects, and the planning was resourced alongside normal operations.

— The process of designing it took a while, but the building felt really special when it was completed. It’s because we really did it together; it belongs to us all.