March 6, 2012
Concord - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services (BHHS), announces the results of the one-day statewide Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homeless individuals and families. This count took place on 1/25/12 from 12:00 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 in New Hampshire. The count is undertaken as a coordinated effort between the three local homeless Continuums of Care, Nashua, Manchester and the “Balance of State,” which BHHS coordinates.
Results of this one-day count revealed there were 2,438 homeless individuals across the State. This represents a 3% decrease in the number of homeless individuals from 2011 (2,520 individuals). Of that number 1,357 were sheltered (down 1% from 2011); 368 were unsheltered (down 11% from 2011); 713 individuals were temporarily doubled up (temporarily residing with family or friend, a 2% decrease from 2011); 405 were families (which is the same number of families that were homeless in 2011). Also, of the 1,727 adults surveyed, 31% (542) self reported a severe and persistent mental illness, 28% (476) reported having a substance abuse issue, 8% (146) were veterans, and 30% (514) were chronically homeless.
“The data from this year’s count shows we are making progress in decreasing homelessness in our State,” stated DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “However, this also shows us that we must all continue to work together to find solutions to end homelessness, especially in a time of limited resources as there are still far too many individuals and families who do not have a permanent place to call home.”
BHHS coordinates this Point-in-Time count in order to gather an accurate and unduplicated count of homeless individuals and families across the state. As part of the funding BHHS receives from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, this count is required to identify the needs created by the ongoing issue of homelessness; both sheltered and unsheltered, in New Hampshire.
"The annual PIT count provides the BHHS with data to identify both who is homeless in the state, and where they are located on a given day," said BHHS Administrator Maureen Ryan. "BHHS strives to obtain as accurate a count as possible through statewide coordination of this effort and eliciting participation from a wide range of service providers and other organizations. This information helps us ensure services are targeted at the areas and populations in need."
To view the 2012 Point-in-Time Survey, go to http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bhhs/homelessdata.htm.