Juha KaakinenChief Executive of Y-Foundation
Reshaping the Perception of Homelessness
Juha Kaakinen is CEO of the biggest Finnish NGO, the Y-Foundation. Driven by a mission to provide housing for everyone, the Y-Foundation has reshaped the system of homelessness through an innovative “housing first” approach. An experienced developer of innovative housing solutions for the homeless, Kaakinen’s work and passion stemmed from his role in public administration for the City of Helsinki and as CEO of Social Development Ltd, a company that develops social and health services for cities. Kaakinen’s work with the Y-Foundation has reduced homelessness in Finland by 35 percent.
His work has been globally recognized by publications such as BBC News, Euronews, The Guardian, Independent, Toronto Star, and more. Kaakinen believes housing is a basic human right and is convinced that, together, we can eradicate homelessness for good. He’s driven by a vision for a world where everybody has a place to call home. Prior to his work with the Y-Foundation, he worked as a program leader of the Finnish national program to end long-term homelessness.