Published: 11/29/2020 12:03:16 AM
Modified: 11/29/2020 12:03:05 AM
The lawn of the Hillsborough County Courthouse has become another example of the state’s failure to deal with issues affecting its citizenry. As COVID reduces capacity in state shelters, and contributes to evictions, the Manchester homeless camp has grown from a few tents to dozens. The state’s solution? Order them to vacate.
Hundreds of community members have gathered to volunteer to stand with the homeless, and stop their eviction.
Recently, Gov. Chris Sununu claimed that every homeless person had been offered a place to go and “had refused” help. In addition, he accused the volunteers helping to stave off the eviction of actually encouraging the homeless to refuse services.
I have personally spent hours organizing contributions and standing “watch” at the camp. The residents of the camp affirm that few have been offered assistance. Those who have are sometimes offered a place that will not work for them. A bed too far away from a job, without transportation, does not help, and neither does a bed with a curfew that conflicts with a work shift. Living facilities for people with addictions must include treatment.
New Hampshire has not revised its plan to address homelessness since 2006. To attempt to blame volunteers for an egregious lack of planning on his own part speaks volumes about this governor’s lack of integrity and character.
Just quit the blame game, Gov. Sununu. Instead, do something to address the issue. These are real people, not political “pawns.”
Rep. CHRIS BALCH