Strong majority would support homeless veterans shelter in their neighborhood - 315 participants

Nov 11, 2013

In the town of Lee, a zoning battle has begun regarding one veteran’s efforts to turn a single family residence into a homeless veteran’s shelter. On November 11, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Would you support a homeless veteran’s shelter in a residential area near you?” 

“Would you support a homeless veteran’s shelter in a residential area near you?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Homeless Veterans Shelter New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 315 participants 

A total of 97% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 3% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 315 individuals from New Hampshire contributed responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

What Participants Said:

Yes: A strong majority, at 83% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, would support a homeless veteran’s shelter in a residential area near them. 

  • “Any neighborhood should be good for a veterans home—what is the problem? A ‘homeless veteran’ are two words that should never be in the same sentence.”
  • “They should be able to live where they want. Why not a residential area?”
  • “They sacrificed their lives and safety so that we can have our personal freedoms. No more ‘not in my backyard mentality’, please.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 17%, would not support a homeless veteran’s shelter in a residential area near them.  

  • “If the well-intentioned Mr MacDonald wants to provide a shelter for the homeless, be they veterans or otherwise, he should have to abide by the zoning and use laws of his town.”
  • “I am against it because (although I admit to only knowing what the article said) it seems like a well-intentioned, but poorly thought out idea. Besides, the people in the area surrounding the "shelter" have rights also.”
  • “Perhaps the homeless veteran population of Lee (if there is one) would be better served by traditional veteran support services.”

Other: As noted above, 3% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:   

  • Other location factors: “Shelters need to be on public transit and close to other services they are likely to need. Shelters aren't just a place to store people.”
  • Causes: “One of the contributing factors to homelessness among vets is that military occupations are not always transferable to the civilian workforce.”  
  • Alternatives: “Why call it a shelter? Just rent out rooms for whatever they can afford to pay.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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