He-M 314.02(b) of the New Hampshire State Administrative Rules defines someone who is homeless as:
- An individual or family that lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or
- An individual or family that has a primary nighttime residence that is:
- a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter or transitional housing;
- an institution other than a penal facility that provides temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
- a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
The State of New Hampshire, BHHS provide an array of statewide services, which fall under the Homeless Prevention/Intervention Service spectrum, which together with the emergency shelter system, act as a safety net for some of New Hampshire's most vulnerable citizens. Services are provided through six Community Action Agencies and other non-profit service providers across the state and provide interventions that have a direct and positive impact on individuals and families, preventing them from becoming homeless or assisting the homeless in moving on to permanent housing.
Services are widely varied to meet the diverse needs of homeless individuals and families and often provide direct financial assistance to avoid eviction or foreclosure, pay overdue utilities when disconnection is eminent, or assist with transportation so someone can continue to work or receive health care or other services. These programs are often the "last resort" for folks facing circumstances that will result in homelessness. Other Prevention/Intervention services include budget counseling or assistance with acquiring other necessary life skills and assistance accessing essential services such as shelter or other human services.
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
HOPWA grants administered by BHHS and provided through Merrimack Valley Assistance Program bring assistance and extensive support services to persons with HIV/AIDS and their families. The population served includes low and very low income, and those at risk of displacement or of becoming homeless. These projects emphasize stabilizing participants' current housing situations and, whenever possible, maintaining them in their homes where they prefer to reside. Housing solutions, case management, and supportive services are intertwined in maintaining and improving participants' independence, self sufficiency, quality of life and personal dignity. For a list of HOPWA providers contact www.mvap.org.
Homeless Outreach/Intervention Prevention Program
The HUD-funded Homeless Outreach/Intervention Prevention (HOIP) program is a statewide collaborative project among five Community Action Agencies and the State of New Hampshire, Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services. The HOIP is designed to provide aggressive street outreach and intervention services to the unsheltered homeless throughout the state. HOIP unsheltered homeless contacts are followed up systematically to ensure the appropriate service is provided. To contact a HOIP worker in your area please contact the NH Homeless Hotline at 211 or (866) 444-4211.
Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness
The Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program is funded through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services with funds contracted to community mental health and Community Action Agencies. PATH outreach provides services to those experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness (SMI) or SMI and a co-occurring substance use disorder. PATH workers assess for immediacy of needs, and continue to work with individuals to enhance treatment and/or housing readiness while linking clients to vital supports such as shelter, health care, mental health treatment, financial assistance and ultimately housing. For General information about the National PATH program go to www.pathprogram.samhsa.gov.
If You Want to Help the Homeless …
Donate to your local food bank or contact your local Community Action Agencies, the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH), or non-profit in your area.