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Veteran Homelessness 'Effectively' Ended in Nashua Area

Peter Biello
Peter Kelleher, President and CEO of Harbor Homes in Nashua.

Officials in Nashua say homelessness among military veterans in the greater Nashua area has been effectively ended.

Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess joined Senator Maggie Hassan and other officials in making the announcement Friday in Nashua at Harbor Homes, a non-profit that has been central to the efforts of several organizations in the region working to end homelessness.

The City of Nashua has received certification from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness for having effectively ended homelessness among veterans in the region.

The so-called "effective end" means that veterans may still become homeless, but enough resources are in place to quickly provide them shelter and services.

Wade Thompson is a 51-year-old Army veteran from Farmington, who's gotten shelter at Harbor Homes. He says it's good that organizations are providing that same safety net for others.

"Because veterans should not be out on the streets. They deserve a place to stay," he says. "They deserve a warm place to put their head down at night, some place where they can get a warm meal, and help them get on with their lives."

Peter Kelleher, president and CEO of Harbor Homes, says the network in place in the Nashua area has the capacity to serve homeless veterans anywhere in the state.

"Ending veteran homelessness is far more complex than just providing a roof," Kelleher says. "It involves many different services to get people to live successfully in the community. And we're grateful to be part of it."

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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