Courtesy Quinn Dombrowski via flickr/creative commons

This August, NHPR’s Natasha Haverty and Jack Rodolico have been working on a series of stories covering issues that homeless New Hampshire residents are currently facing. Their work sheds light on aspects of life as a homeless New Hampshire citizen that many non-homeless residents don’t often witness.

Jack Rodolico, NHPR

This week, NHPR has been looking at what homelessness means in New Hampshire. As part of our series No Place to Go: Homeless in New Hampshire,  we visited the PK Motel in Effingham, and heard about how having a roof over your head isn’t the same as having a home.

So where is that line so many families are straddling, between financial insecurity and having no place to live?

Dean Christon is Executive Director of New Hampshire’s Housing Finance Authority and he joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to talk through some of these issues.

Jack Rodolico

It’s nearly impossible to say how many homeless people there are in New Hampshire. And the biggest reason is that most people without a home in this state aren’t on the street or in shelters—they actually have a roof over their heads.

Some sleep on couches, and some rent rooms by the week at a place like the P.K. Motel in Effingham.

This story is the last installment in a special series on homelessness. Click here to see and listen to all the stories

Doug Kerr

Communities in New Hampshire are grappling with this question: where are homeless people supposed to go? Cities tend to answer that question by spelling out where homeless people can’t be, imposing bans on panhandling and camping. That's often called criminalizing homelessness.

We hear now about one city that recently came together to strike down one of those bans—Lebanon, N.H. Tim McNamara is on the city council there and was at the public hearing where over 100 people turned out. He joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to talk about these issues.

Natasha Haverty

Drive the highway between Manchester and Concord, and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the tarps and tents lining sections of the Merrimack River and the train tracks. When winter shelters close, homeless people find refuge outdoors, in public—but that’s an act that’s often against the law.


And with no unified policy to work with, New Hampshire’s city officials and homeless residents tend it to make it up as they go.

Natasha Haverty, NHPR

Ten years ago policy makers in New Hampshire made an ambitious promise: to end homelessness by 2016. We haven’t gotten there yet.

As part of our special series on homelessness called 'No Place To Go,' NHPR's Jack Rodolico and Natasha Haverty reported the story of one homeless man, Gene Parker, who lived on the streets of Concord for five years before being struck and killed by a car this winter.

Cathy Kuhn directs New Hampshire’s Coalition to End Homelessness and joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to discuss where the issue stands today.

This past winter a car struck and killed a homeless man in Concord. His name was Gene Parker - he lived on the streets for five years and in that time his friends and advocates fought hard to get him into an apartment. But he died before that could happen.


Parker’s story is brutal, but it also says a lot about why it’s so hard to pull someone like him out of homelessness.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

  The number of homeless veterans in New Hampshire has fallen, according to new federal data. 

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  The US Senate is backing an amendment to allow a sober living home for veterans in Manchester to again seek federal funds. 

A January count shows roughly 1,300 individuals were homeless in New Hampshire — the lowest number in the past five years.

The numbers come from an annual, one-day count of homeless individuals. Fewer people were in shelters on the day of the count than last year. The report also shows 26 percent fewer people were temporarily living with friends or family compared to last year.

Grappling With Homelessness in New Hampshire

Jan 12, 2016
Jeff / Flickr/CC

It's a question Granite State communities are grappling with, as progress appears to have stalled on finding housing for homeless people. Advocates agree a dearth of affordable housing exacerbates the problem. But there's debate over whether providing temporary shelter can forestall lasting solutions on such challenges as unemployment and substance abuse.


The New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness says the number of people experiencing homelessness has remained unchanged from 2014 to 2015.

Coalition director Cathy Kuhn says a number of factors have slowed the statewide progress in ending homelessness, including "an increasingly scarce affordable housing market."

Hanibaael via Flickr Creative Commons

The Veterans Administration has been trying to end veteran homelessness by the end of this year. The goal was to achieve and sustain something called “functional zero,” which doesn’t eliminate homelessness, but rather ensures that it’s rare, brief and non-recurring.

Manchester Homeless Service Center Set to Close

Jun 16, 2015
hotblack / Morguefile

The Manchester Homeless Service Center is getting ready to close at the end of this month.

The shelter accepts all comers—people with or without substance abuse problems. It serves about 70 people a day, and that number doubles during colder months.

It had been struggling financially since private foundations cut funding earlier this year.

Homelessness In New Hampshire

Jan 12, 2015
ashleigh290 / Flickr/CC

A recent report shows that the overall population is down, but the problem persists and has even increased among certain groups including veterans.  Now, with diverse efforts across the state to help the homeless, there is active discussion, and some disagreement, within communities about the best approach.


A report on homelessness says New Hampshire's overall homeless population has decreased by 3 percent, but says there's been an increase among veterans and chronic cases.

In a report out Monday, the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness says the overall decrease started in 2011 thanks to the collective work of agencies, policymakers and others. It says more resources are needed, including continued investment in affordable housing.

Home destroyed by Hurricane Irene.
Jim Greenhill / Flickr

When Hurricane Irene struck the Upper Valley in 2011, The Upper Valley Haven, an emergency shelter in White River Junction, was there to help those who had lost their homes. Al Carbonneau and his family were among those displaced. 

bobmendo / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report paints a complex picture, including that the number of un-sheltered homeless has jumped by twenty percent over the past year.  We’ll look once again at this stubborn problem and ongoing efforts to address it.


Home destroyed by Hurricane Irene.
Jim Greenhill / Flickr

When Hurricane Irene struck the Upper Valley in 2011, The Upper Valley Haven, an emergency shelter in White River Junction, was there to help those who had lost their homes. Al Carbonneau and his family were among those displaced. 

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The most popular stories of the past week, from our newsroom, Word of Mouth, and The Exchange.

1. The Common Core State Standards: Not Yet In Place, Already Controversial

Several Granite State communities are grappling with how best to deal with this population. Issues include their use of public property, where and how they can ask for money, the right approaches to truly help these individuals. There’s been lots of debate and even lawsuits filed, including accusations that some recent actions are band-aids to a much larger problem.  Today we'll look at these challenges.


Harbor Homes Supports Homeless Vets

May 11, 2013
Courtesy of Harbor Homes

When Matt Milbourn, a veteran of the first Persian Gulf War, found himself unexpectedly made homeless,  Harbor Homes was there for him.

In addition to operating a homeless shelter, Harbor Homes also manages a reintegration program, offering services, healthcare, and education to homeless veterans and their families. Matt earned his CphT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) through the program, and now teaches computer education and life skills classes at Harbor Homes.

New Hampshire’s homeless population is down by 4 percent this year.

The data is included in a report released Thursday by the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness.

Director Cathy Kuhn says the slight drop is good news, particularly after an 11 percent increase from 2010 to 2011.

But big picture, Kuhn says the issues isn’t going away.

Over the past two years, the number of homeless people increased in seven of the state’s 10 counties.

Pilgrim's Progress

Nov 20, 2012
Phil Gyford via Flickr Creative Commons

A metaphor for making one’s way through the world is the pilgrimage. The pilgrim aspired to following an inner path, guided by the spirit, from a state of wretchedness to blessedness.  We’ve been following a literary magazine that draws on all these traditions.

Homeless Center for Strafford County

Sep 1, 2012

The Homeless Center for Strafford County provides seasonal overnight shelter to single women and families. Almost half the people staying in the shelter are children – nearly all under five years old. Susan Ford directs the shelter and understands her clients’ first-hand.