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Shelter is a Matter of Life and Death

Shelter is a Matter of Life and Death

Published: March 10, 2011
Shelter is a matter of life and death, Maggie says

Maggie Fogarty testifies before the NH House Finance Committee in Representatives Hall at the State House.

Photo: AFSC / arnie

“Shelters are a matter of life and death for homeless people in New Hampshire,” Maggie Fogarty told the NH House Finance Committee today at a hearing full of heart-wrenching stories about the devastating effects of budget cuts being contemplated by the state legislature.

For hours on end New Hampshire residents provided testimony to the Committee about the need for services for people with mental illness and physical disabilities, and also called for adequate funding for other services vital to a dignified life.

In a prepared statement delivered to the Committee, Maggie explained, “Right now, there are families living in their cars in Walmart parking lots across this state because there is simply no work, no affordable housing, no room at the homeless shelter.  There are children going to school from motels, paid for by local welfare offices because the shelters are full.  There are families, veterans and seniors sleeping on church floors because that’s all there is.  It is not the time to take away the small but essential stream of state funding that supports an already overburdened network of shelters.”

With Housing Action NH, AFSC is urging calls to legislators to preserve funding for homeless services. 

AFSC also calls on the legislature to address the ways revenues are raised in order for the state to have the resources it needs for the vital services our communities rely upon.