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home : news : regional August 20, 2014

Annual count finds decrease in NH's homelessness

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- An annual one-day count of New Hampshire's homeless population shows a decrease of 14 percent compared to last year.

The state Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services coordinates the count, which took place Jan. 29 and targeted welfare offices, shelters, hospitals, soup kitchens, outreach workers and other organizations.

The results, announced Friday, showed there were 2,210 homeless individuals across the state. Of those, 358 were families, a 14 percent decrease since 2013.

Compared to last year, the number of people who were sheltered was about the same, while those who were unsheltered or were temporarily living with friends or family decreased by 35 percent.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas said the decline is encouraging, but the state is still being challenged by 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," he said.

The bureau coordinates the one-day, statewide point-in-time count to get an accurate and unduplicated count. As part of the funding the bureau receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the count is required to identify the needs created by the ongoing issue of homelessness.

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