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Fryshuset was founded in 1984 as a result of joint efforts by the social entrepreneur Anders Carlberg (1943-2013) and the YMCA/YWCA of Stockholm (Swedish abbreviation ’’KFUK-KFUM’’). The name Fryshuset literally means the cold storage building in Swedish, since the center was first housed in a former cold storage facility at Södermalm in the south of Stockholm, near Gullmarsplan metro station.
At the outset, sports and music were the sole activities, but social issues made their way into the house as a reflection of young people's needs.
In the summer of 1986, when violent riots occurred between teenage groups in Stockholm, the Swedish government asked Fryshuset to help relieve the situation. Fryshuset launched a campaign, touring the country lecturing on constructive alternatives to violence.
Since then Fryshuset has grown into a large center and meeting place for social projects, education and interests. Fryshuset runs several schools (for example the high school Fryshusets Gymnasium, in Stockholm) and programs for vocational training, seminars and conferences, courses in theatre, music, and sports as well as events, concerts, parties and discothèques, a skateboard park, a basketball arena for Fryshuset Basket. Parts of Fryshuset's activities are running in Gothenburg and Malmö – Sweden's second and third largest cities. Fryshuset employs around 500 people and receives around 40,000 visitors every month.
Fryshuset is a foundation headed by the YMCA of Stockholm. Its annual income is around 350 million Swedish kronor and it has 450 employees as well as many volunteers. Public funding covers around 5% of the activities, the rest is financed by grants, endowments and fees for services such as educational and social programs (fees that are not paid by young people or individual clients but by sponsors and partners).
- The Bridge Builders is a project aiming at guiding young boys into adulthood by giving them good role models. Boys and men get together in groups and engage in a number of activities together, but the decisive ingredient is really the relationship between the boys and their role models.
- Chaplin is a network working with and for adult children of dysfunctional families. The goal is to make sure that all children of addictive or in other ways destructive families receive support. The name Chaplin was chosen because Charlie Chaplin is the world's most famous child of dysfunctional parents. His mother was mentally ill and his father was an alcoholic, a fact that makes him a role model for children living in difficult conditions.
- Centre for information about destructive sub-cultures (CIDES) works with developing and disseminating effective approaches for combating the formation of subcultures such as criminal gangs, white power movements, soccer-hooligans and other destructive groups.
- The Easy Street Project started in 1995 in order to counteract violence and vandalism within Stockholm’s public transportation system by hiring young adult people as role models to teenagers and young delinquent people. Since then Easy Street has become a comprehensive program of social integration and a way to get unemployed young people back into the employment market.
- Elektra and Sharaf heroes and Sharaf heroines work against honor related violence and oppression.
- The Emerich foundation was founded by Emerich Roth, who survived Auschwitz but lost 40 family members in the Holocaust. Emerich came to Sweden after the war and worked as a social worker for 30 years. After his retirement he came to Fryshuset and lectured in schools about racism and hate and what to do about it. He set up a foundation that rewards young people’s efforts to improve humanity and tolerance.
- Exit helps young people to leave Nazi, racist or other extremist movements.
- Fenix is a project aiming to prevent arson fires in schools.
- Fryshuset Web Coaches guide and support young people on the Internet.
- Job coach works with helping young unemployed people get jobs. The project is run by the Swedish employment agency in co-operation with Fryshuset.
- Mission Possible is a project giving support to school kids with special needs.
- Passus helps people who want to leave gangs and criminal organizations. Passus provides: mental and social rehabilitation, support to families of gang members, prevention among young people and educating professionals within schools, the social service, the police, the prison and probation agency etc. Passus is a seuuql to Exit (se above) which since 1998 has worked with helping people leave the White Power movements.
- Sea-life organizes sailing courses, boat trips and camps in the archipelago for kids who never had a chance to enjoy sea-oriented diversions.
- Single mothers and children of single mothers works with single mothers and children living in economically and socially exposed circumstances in order to strengthen their social network and let them enjoy things that usually costs money. The project organises activities such as kids parties and visits to the zoo and amusement parks.
- United Sisters works with boosting self-esteem and self-respect among young girls and guide them into adulthood.
- Young-in helps young people (aged 16 to 24) who don’t study nor have any contact with the Employment Service – to get a job. Young-in is run by the Employment Service, Fryshuset, Friends and the authorities of Stockholm City with support from the European Social Fund.
- Your Brother is convening groups where young boys talk to each other and to adults mentors about personal issues. The goal is that the guys should feel safe and proud about themselves and their lives.
- The Entrepreneurial project is a network where leaders and entrepreneurs get together to learn and develop. The project offers courses, mentors, internships, trainee programs and lots more.
- Forum for the Caring is Fryshuset’s annual conference for people working with young people. Around 600 people from organizations and authorities (policemen, social workers, teachers, correctional officers, volunteers and young people from schools and other organizations) participate in the conference every year.
- The Fryshus spirit – dissemination of prevention methods. Fryshuset tours the country educating and encouraging people to start new and develop already existing projects and activities for young people. During the tour local projects and efforts are rewarded with the Vattenfall Energispridar award.
- Fryshusets elementary school for 6 to 9 graders offers elementary education along with basketball, dance, skate or music.
- Fryshuset’s high school (Fryshuset gymnasium) offers education along with basketball, skateboarding, writing, dance, theatre, music, image and design and gaming. The school has around 900 students.
- Fryshusets Knowledge Centre (FKC) is working to disseminate Fryshuset's skills and offers courses and education in pedagogy, school organization, organizational development and youth culture.
- The Red Cross College conducts courses related to democracy, human rights and respect. Theoretical studies, field trips and information work is included in all courses.
- RML – the Rock Music education is a one-year full-time education for rock musicians. RML is run by Birkagården College and Fryshuset. The program was started in 1989.
- Fryshuset Basket is a youth basketball society based at Fryshuset, with around 3500 registered players.
- F.U.S.E works with young musicians, performers and bands in order to give them the information they need to create a platform in the music industry. F.U.S.E also produces and releases records. F.U.S.E is an abbreviation of the Swedish words for Company, Education, Support and Commitment.
- The Gym is the sports club at Fryshuset.
- Lovely Days offers sports and cultural activitiesto to kids during school holidays.
- The Music Department is home to around 600 musicians and 100 bands rehearsing in 39 music studios and to Fryshuset's concert venues; The Club and The Arena.
- Night Courses offers evening courses in music, dance and theatre, electric guitar, electric bass, drums, keyboards, DJ mixing, DJ-courses for girls and music production.
- The Soccer Alliance is a collaboration between Fryshuset and soccer fan clubs in Stockholm; AIK, Djurgården and Hammarby. The goal is to create a positive non-violent soccer fan culture. In order to influence young soccer fans the Soccer Alliance is touring around in secondary schools with Premier Division football players.
- Stockholm Skate Park is an indoor arena for skateboarding. The hall covers 1600 square meters and is the home ground for Fryshuset high school's skateboarding classes.
- Theatre Fryshuset writes and produces plays about contemporary social issues, such as The burning ghetto and Top Boys – a hooligan's story.
- The Wave is Fryshuset's permanent disco for people aged 15–20 years.
Also at Fryshuset
- Fryshuset at Almedalen – every year Fryshuset participates in Sweden's biggest annual political get-together Almedalsveckan. One week in July, politicians, lobby-groups, organisations, business and the media gathers to debate Sweden's future. Fryshuset emphasizes young people's situation and possibilities.
- Fryshuset Christmas Market – every year Fryshuset organizes a Christmas market with around 70 market stalls at Sergels Torg, the main square in central Stockholm.
- Fryshuset Church is a cooperation between the Diocese of Stockholm, Sofia parish and EFS Mittsverige (a branch within th Swedish church). The purpose is to encourage and support contemplation about major issues such as the meaning of life, good and evil, etc.
- Fryshuset Kitchen and Café is the restaurant at Fryshuset.
- The Kärsö Estate, run by Fryshuset and the YMCA, is situated at Drottningholm by Lake Mälaren. The estate hosts courses, camps, educational programs, basketball training and scouting.
- "Social entrepreneurs fighting for outsiders". www.nordiclabourjournal.org. Retrieved 19 January 2016.