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Report: N.H. Homelessness Down Slightly In 2013

New Hampshire’s homeless population dropped 2 percent this year, marking the third year in a row the figure has declined.

The report was released Wednesday by the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness.

Coalition director Cathy Kuhn says while there are some good signs in the report, it also raises some red flags about economic conditions.

“The average income of the working poor is still very, very low. And rents for an average apartment in New Hampshire are still very far out of the affordability range for this population.”

The numbers are based in part on a 24-hour, point-in-time count made in January.

Volunteers counted 1,685 homeless people, which Kuhn says is only an estimate.

“Sometimes people who are living on the streets may not want to be found. They’re very good at hiding and remaining under the radar.”

The report finds one in four of those considered homeless were living in cars, abandoned buildings, tents, or other places not intended for human habitation.

A majority were living in emergency shelters or transitional housing shelters.

Cuhn says she’s concerned about the impact of federal budget cuts on programs focused on helping the homeless.

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