$5M In American Rescue Plan Funds To Help Shelters In Winter

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is using $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support homeless shelters across the state this winter.

The funds, approved earlier this month by the Executive Council and the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee, will provide one-time grants to support shelter providers, including short-term cold weather shelters, to address pandemic related increased costs and anticipated demand as the winter months approach.

In a request for the funds, Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette wrote that the state contracts with 19 shelter providers for 791 emergency shelter beds, but the Health Department does not fund temporary cold weather shelters.

She wrote that preliminary data for the 2022 Point-In-Time count for the state shows 1,605 people experiencing homelessness, an increase of 7 .6 percent from 2021.

The federal funds will provide $4 million in grants to the existing shelters under contract with the department, and $1 million to each county, municipality, and/or nonprofits and coalitions to assist with cold weather shelters.