2015 report on homelessness in New Hampshire

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PRESS-RELEASEMANCHESTER, NH – The number of homeless people living in New Hampshire has remained unchanged over the past year, according to the most recent report on homelessness, issued Thursday.

The New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH) released its 2015 report on the State of Homelessness in New Hampshire Dec. 17, which looks at the state’s homeless population as researched and recorded between 2011 and 2015.

Using economic, demographic, and other indicators, the report shows that the number of people experiencing homelessness remained unchanged, stalling after progressive declines over the past several years. While progress toward ending homelessness has slowed, the NHCEH notes that many new initiatives went online over the past year, including the full implementation of a statewide Coordinated Entry system, the reestablishment of the NH Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, and statewide efforts to declare “Functional Zero” in ending homelessness among New Hampshire’s Veterans.

The New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH) released its 2015 report on the State of Homelessness in New Hampshire. Using economic, demographic, and other indicators, the 2015 State of Homelessness in New Hampshire Report examines homelessness in the state between 2011 and 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 12.19.08 PM“A number of factors have slowed the statewide progress in ending homelessness, including an increasingly scarce affordable housing market,” said Cathy Kuhn, PhD, Director of the NH Coalition to End Homelessness.

As highlighted in the report, some of the factors pointing to improving conditions for New Hampshire’s homeless population include:

  • A sharp decline in the number of people living unsheltered (down 33 percent);
  • Less Veterans experiencing homelessness (down 21 percent); and
  • An increase in the average income of the working poor (up 24 percent).

While many indicators in the report show improving conditions for the state’s homeless population, some factors point to worsening conditions, including:

  • Very low vacancy rates statewide (2.2 percent in 2015);
  • An increase in the number of people in families experiencing homelessness (up by 8 percent); and
  • An increase in the number of students experiencing homelessness (up 1.5 percent).

“This past year was a watershed year for the state, as several new initiatives to improve systems delivery and response were launched,” Kuhn said. “To that end, it will be even more critical to measure and report on our collective progress in preventing and ending homelessness for New Hampshire residents.”

The full report can be read and downloaded at www.nhceh.org/Report.

The NH Coalition to End Homelessness is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of eliminating the causes of homelessness through research, education and advocacy.  For more information about the NHCEH and the report, visit www.nhceh.org or call 603-641-9441.

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Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.