Community agencies in Dover, Rochester and Somersworth are teaming up to help the 60 homeless staying at an encampment on private property find another place to live but use your help as well.

The encampment near Willand Pond on High Street in Somersworth behind Target is scheduled to be cleared out on Nov. 8 at the request of the property owner who will post no trespassing signs on the property. Somersworth Police will clear out the camp and anyone on the property after the 8th may face tresspassing charges.

The three cities are working with the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County to provide housing and services to those who are willing to accept it.

As the weather gets cooler CAPSC plans to use the Strafford County Extreme Cold Weather Warming Center located on Willand Drive in Somersworth.

"The Tri-City region continues to plan to bring a resolution to the current issue. While the issue at hand will not resolve the broader issue of homelessness, as we proceed forward it is imperative that the current matter be handled with compassion, understanding and empathy," Somersworth Mayor Dana Hiliard told Seacoast Current. "It is all hands on deck to offer guidance and support with local and state agencies, and non-profits, with the goal to get all those seeking support aligned with the proper services."

CAPSC is seeking donations

CAPSC is seeking donations of items such as food to assist those at the encampment.
The current list of needed items includes:

  • Wagons to help people move their belongings to their destination
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tents
  • Gift cards to local restaurants or supermarkets for meals or other necessities
  • Gas cards for individuals with vehicles
  • Meals on triage days for both clients and volunteers at the site
  • Monetary donations that can be used to support services for those in need

To donate, visit the CAPSC website and designate a gift to the Willand Pond Emergency Fund. Funds raised will be utilized collectively by all agencies

CAPSC is also seeking apartment owners who can accept or are willing to accept Section 8 housing vouchers to help connect encampment members with permanent housing.

Among the agencies offering help are: SOS Community Recovery Organization, Seacoast Mental Health Center, Pope Memorial Humane Society Cocheco Valley, New Hampshire Legal Aid, New Hampshire Legal Assistance, Easterseals, New Hampshire Bureau of Housing, New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, New Hampshire Mutual Aid Relief Fund, New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition, Waypoint, Cross Roads House, Greater Seacoast Community Health, Families First Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Somersworth and Dover Housing Authorities, Community 2. Partners, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, The Doorway, and the welfare departments of Somersworth, Rochester and Dover.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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