Understanding Homelessness in New Hampshire

Homelessness is a significant problem impacting individuals and families all over the world, and the state of New Hampshire is not an exception. Many factors contribute to homelessness, including economic struggles and insufficient housing. In this article, we offer insights into the unique causes of homelessness in New Hampshire and share vital resources for individuals experiencing homelessness in the state.

Causes and Prevalence of Homelessness in New Hampshire

Like much of the United States, homelessness in New Hampshire has increased in recent decades. For instance, in 2020, the Granite State had 1,404 citizens reported as homeless. This was a rise in just several years - 2015 had an estimated 1,317 recognized homeless individuals statewide. A central issue prevalent in New Hampshire contributing to these numbers is the severe lack of affordable housing. Statewide, there is approximately only one reasonably priced rental unit for every four extremely low-income renter households. Troublingly, homelessness affects diverse demographics in New Hampshire; from veterans to families, adults, and even youths. For instance, more than one in ten homeless adults were veterans, and approximately 28% were people in families, in 2020.

New Hampshire Government Programs for the Homeless

Fortunately, the state of New Hampshire provides various programs intended to help individuals experiencing homelessness. For instance, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has a Bureau of Housing Supports. This bureau provides funds to municipal welfare departments and non-profit agencies for homeless shelter operations, administers housing and essential supportive services programs, and more. Notably, part of the NH DHHS's mission is to address the budget needs of non-profit shelters, thus ensuring continuity in the provision of necessary services.

Homeless Shelters and Services in New Hampshire

There are over 20 homeless shelters across New Hampshire, including in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, and more. Most of these shelters assist specific demographic groups, such as single men, single women, families, or veterans. However, there are also facilities like the New Horizons for New Hampshire shelter in Manchester, which will help anyone in need. At these shelters, individuals and families can find a variety of services designed to alleviate the impacts of homelessness. Among these are emergency shelter, meals, case management, employment training, assistance securing permanent housing, health services, and even programs aiming to prevent homelessness in the first place.

Helpful Government Agencies for the Homeless in New Hampshire

Several government agencies in New Hampshire are dedicated to helping those struggling with housing instability: - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) is a vital resource, offering housing supports including eviction prevention measures, short-term rental assistance, and transitional housing programs. - The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) provides rental assistance through different federal programs, including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). - The New Hampshire Department of Employment Security (NHES) offers programs targeting work-related issues, such as job placement and training. Remember, accessing these resources can make a world of difference for people experiencing homelessness in New Hampshire.

A Unique Trend: Tiny House Villages

An exciting initiative blooming in New Hampshire is the development of “tiny house villages” to provide more secure, sustainable living situations for the homeless. The Veterans Resort Chapel in Lee has already put this into action, providing mini houses, each self-contained with a living area, kitchen, and bedroom, for homeless veterans. Similarly, the proposal for Hope One Village aims to replicate this model for the broader population. While challenges persist, homelessness is not insurmountable. With appropriate support and resource utilization, we can work to ensure that everyone in the Granite State has a roof over their heads. Know that help is available and do not hesitate to reach out when in need.

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