EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 15, 2013

Rally addresses NH's homeless

CONCORD (AP) — Advocates for the homeless, faith leaders and homeless people themselves held a rally outside the Statehouse on Tuesday urging Gov. Maggie Hassan to stop the state from evicting people camping on state land, and calling for long-term solutions to homelessness in New Hampshire.

The rally was prompted by the recent eviction of homeless people who were camping on public lands in the Concord-area. Camping is often the last resort for homeless people who can’t find beds at shelters or enroll in housing programs. Advocates say it’s not fair to force people out of their camps without providing another option.

“Today our message is simple, until they have other options, let people camp,” said Ellen Fries, a board member of the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness.

“They’re pushing us way out so we can’t get to the soup kitchen or the shelter,” said Wendell Ford addressing the crowd of about 100. Ford is one three plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed last week by a lawyer for the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union on behalf of him and two other homeless men who said they were kicked off their campsites in Concord.

State officials have not commented on the lawsuit. A hearing is set for May 20.

at Merrimack County Superior Court.

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