The New Hampshire Civil Liberties is suing the town of Hudson, claiming local police have been suppressing the free speech rights of panhandlers.

Staff attorney Giles Bissonette says the lawsuit filed in federal district court claims the town has been illegally restricting panhandling on public property for more than three years.

“And this practice includes detaining, harassing, threatening, dispersing, and citing panhandlers, in violation of the 1st, 4th, and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.”

Carol Robidoux for NHPR

It's been more than a year since the flag was lowered for the last time outside VFW Post 483 on Quincy Street in Nashua. But upkeep on the nearly century-old building was breaking the organization's bank, especially after sinking $100,000 into a new sprinkler system in 2012 to comply with the city's building code.

So last April, rather than dig themselves into a bigger financial hole, the VFW sold the building and handed over the keys to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Homeless Shelter, which was operating across town out of a much smaller building.