NH social service agencies struggle to find funding
“We have a 4.6 percent unemployment rate. People are finding more work, so that’s good news,” she said.
In Laconia, Finance Director Donna Woodman said demand for welfare is down slightly over last year, and in Sunapee, the demand has remained about the same, said Welfare Administrator Laura Trow. The Hudson Board of Selectmen has trimmed the welfare budget by $25,000 because demand has steadily decreased over the last three years, said Town Administrator Steve Malizia.
“Though the demand for welfare has stayed about the same,” Bolton said, “the request for donations for these organizations has increased.”
Todd Marsh, welfare director in Rochester, said his department tries to work with clients to get to the root causes of their emergencies so that they can solve long-term problems and reduce the number of folks who have to repeatedly seek assistance. Efforts such as helping people learn how to stand out among the piles of applications employers receive can make a difference between employment and unemployment for some.
“Cost-cutting measures at state Health and Human Services ultimately affect local welfare departments from the North Country to the Seacoast; all across the state,” Marsh said. “Decisions often have unintended negative consequences, one of which is cost shifting to municipalities.”
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