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March 21. 2013 11:05AM

Count shows NH's homeless numbers up 6% in a year


Click on the map to make it full screen. The chart breaks down by county the number of homeless people living in shelters and on the streets or with friends and relatives. For example, in Hillsborough County, the 1,215 total people counted include 312 single people living in shelters, 295 family members from 107 total families living in shelters, 139 single people and 43 people from 11 families who are not living in shelters, and 213 single people and 213 people from 59 families who are staying with friends or relatives. 

CONCORD - The number of homeless in New Hampshire has increased to 2,576 people, up six percent over last year, according to the state Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services (BHHS).

A "Point-in-Time" count was done Jan. 23, from midnight to 11:59 p.m. and targeted city/town welfare offices, homeless shelters, hospitals, police departments, soup kitchens, food pantries, outreach workers and other organizations serving homeless people across the state.

Last year when the count was done, there were 2,438 people with no homes. This year, an additional 138 people are without a permanent residence. This year's count showed 1,243 people were in shelters, down 9 percent from 2012; 442 were unsheltered, up 17 percent; 891 individuals were temporarily doubled up (temporarily living with family or friends, a 20 percent increase over 2012); and 418 were families, an increase of 3 percent over last year.

Of the 1,520 adults surveyed, 37 percent said they had severe and persistent mental illness; 533 or 35 percent reported substance-abuse issues; 11 percent (165) were veterans, and 32 percent (481) were chronically homeless.

"It is troubling to see the rise in the number of people who do not have a place to call home," said state Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. "This data underscores the need for us to continue to work together to find solutions to end homelessness, especially in a time of limited resources as there are far too many individuals and families that do not have a permanent place to live."

Close to half the homeless - 47 percent or 1,215 people - reside in Hillsborough County, the state's largest county and home to the two largest cities, Manchester and Nashua, according to the count.

BHHS coordinates the homeless count to gather accurate and unduplicated numbers. BHHS receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which requires the count to identify the needs of the homeless, both living in shelters and on the streets.


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  • In the 1970’s there were a couple hundred SWAT raids annually in the U.S., that number now tops 50,000. To what do you attribute the spike?
  • More violent crime
  • 22%
  • Erosion of civil liberties
  • 12%
  • Militarization
  • 31%
  • Overtime pay
  • 6%
  • Police safety
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  • War on Drugs
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  • Other
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