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State’s Homeless Population Down 9% from last year, According to New DHHS Point-in-Time Survey
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Publish Date:
April 26, 2016

Concord, NH – The 2016 Point in Time Count (PIT) of persons experiencing homelessness across the State of New Hampshire identified 1,317 individuals, down approximately 9% from 2015. This number represents a record low for the previous 5 years, according to data released today by the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The finding is the result of the annual one-day PIT count conducted in January 2016 by the three Statewide Homeless Continuum of Care organizations.

According to the report, the number of individuals in shelters decreased by 122 people (down 16%) compared to the results of the 2015 PIT count, while the percentage of those unsheltered increased by 11 people (up 8%). Of the 1,317 individuals, 185 represented families. Among groups of people experiencing homelessness, the number of homeless veterans both sheltered and unsheltered decreased 34% from 2015.

Of the 1,137 adults surveyed:

  • 30% (342) self-reported a severe and persistent mental illness
  • 34% (391) reported having a substance abuse issue
  • 11% (123) were veterans
  • 25% (281) were chronically homeless

DHHS also collects information on those temporarily residing with family or friends, referred to as doubled-up. According to this year’s count, 389 individuals were temporarily residing with family/friend, down 26% from 2015.

“New Hampshire continues to make positive advances in getting people experiencing homelessness off the streets, out of shelters and into a home,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers. “In 2015, there were fewer people experiencing homelessness than at any point in the last five years. The decline in veterans experiencing homelessness is encouraging as we as a State continue working toward reducing the population of homeless veterans and all persons who are homeless.”

The DHHS Bureau of Homelessness and Housing Services (BHHS) coordinates the PIT count 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 (HUD), this count is required to identify the needs created by the ongoing issue of homelessness, both sheltered and unsheltered, in New Hampshire.

“The PIT count is intended to be a snapshot of homelessness in NH, providing data on the number of people who may be experiencing homelessness on any given day across the state,” said BHHS Administrator Maureen Ryan. “The data is critical in identifying areas of greatest need. HUD, which funds homeless assistance programs in NH, uses the data to observe trends and make funding decisions.”

DHHS conducts the one-day statewide Point-in-Time count of homeless individuals and families. This count took place on January 27, 2016 from 12:00 midnight to 11:59 p.m. and was coordinated with city/town welfare offices, homeless shelters, faith based organizations, hospitals, police and fire 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.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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