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Annual one-day survey shows drop in New Hampshire's homeless population

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CONCORD, New Hampshire — The latest count of homeless individuals in New Hampshire shows a slight drop compared to last year.

The state Department of Health and Human Services surveyed community welfare offices, homeless shelters, police departments and other organizations serving homeless people on Jan. 28. The one-day count measured 2,158 people, down 2 percent from 2014 and down 14 percent since 2011.

The number of individuals in shelters increased 9 percent to 1,370, while the percentage of those unsheltered decreased 34 percent to 262. Nearly 400 of the total number represented families. Of the adults surveyed, 40 percent reported having mental illness, a third reported substance abuse issues, 10 percent were veterans and 19 percent were chronically homeless.

Officials say initiatives to prevent homelessness are working but more needs to be done.

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