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 1/23/13 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 2,576 homeless individuals across the state. This represents a 6% increase in the number of homeless individuals from 2012 (2,438 individuals). Of that number 1,243 were sheltered (down 9% from 2012); 442 were unsheltered (up 17% from 2012); 891 individuals were temporarily doubled up (temporarily residing with family or friend, a 20% increase from 2012); 418 were families (which is a 3% increase of families that were homeless in 2012). Also, of the 1,520 adults surveyed, 37% (562) self reported a severe and persistent mental illness, 35% (533) reported having a substance abuse issue, 11% (165) were veterans, and 32% (481) were chronically homeless.
“It is troubling to see the rise in the number of people who do not have a place to call home,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “This data underscores the need for us to continue to work together to find solutions to end homelessness, especially in a time of limited resources as there are far too many individuals and families that do not have a permanent place to live.”
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.”