MANCHESTER, NH – The NH Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH) released its 2016 report on the State of Homelessness in New Hampshire on December 15. Using economic, demographic and homeless census data, the 2016 State of Homelessness in New Hampshire report examines homelessness in the state between 2014 and 2016.
After a few years of marginal declines, the overall number of people experiencing homelessness dropped in 2016, including among several key subpopulations. Over the past year, New Hampshire has made significant efforts towards creating new systems of service that focus on targeting available resources to those most in need, which may have in part contributed to the recent progress.
“Research consistently shows that combining affordable housing with tenancy support services and care coordination can help those with the greatest challenges to live with stability and wellness,” said Cathy Kuhn, PhD, Director of the New Hampshire 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 decrease in the number of chronically homeless individuals;
- A decrease in the number of people residing in temporary shelters;
- A decrease in the number of persons in families experiencing homelessness; and
- A continuing decline in veterans experiencing homelessness.
While many indicators in the report show improving conditions for the state’s homeless population, some factors point to areas of continued concern, including:
- A continuing decline in the state’s rental housing vacancy rate;
- A continuing increase in monthly median gross rent;
- More than 3,200 students identified as homeless in the state’s public school system.
“Despite the progress that has been made, far too many men, women and children are becoming homeless and face extremely long waitlists for assistance,” Kuhn said. “Ending homelessness in New Hampshire will require additional investment and renewed commitment to the creation of a robust housing stock capable of meeting the needs of all segments of the state’s diverse population.”
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.