Concord - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services (BHHS), announces results of the one-day statewide Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homeless individuals and families. The count took place on 01/29/2014 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.
The one-day count revealed 2,210 homeless individuals across the state. This represents a 14% decrease in the number of homeless individuals from 2013 (2,576 individuals). Of that number 1,241 were sheltered (nearly the same as 2013); 394 were unsheltered (down 11% from 2013); 575 individuals were temporarily doubled up (temporarily residing with family or friend, a 35% decrease from 2013); 358 were families (which is a 14% decrease of families that were homeless in 2013). Also, of the 1,664 adults surveyed, 39% (642) self-reported a severe and persistent mental illness, 33% (555) reported having a substance abuse issue, 13% (209) were veterans, and 33% (544) were chronically homeless.
“There are so many organizations working together to decrease homelessness in our State,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas, “it is encouraging to see a decline in these numbers. However, our work is far from over. We’re still being challenged by a difficult economy and an ongoing shortage of affordable housing. Everyone deserves a permanent place to call home so we must continue to work together to find solutions to end homelessness.”
BHHS coordinates the PIT 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 is important because it provides a snapshot of homelessness in NH on any given day,” said BHHS Administrator Maureen Ryan. “BHHS, together with our community partners, strives to obtain an accurate and unduplicated count 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.”
- View the 2014 PIT Survey map on the DHHS website