Three homeless people suing state of New Hampshire
Three homeless people have filed a lawsuit against the state after they were kicked off of public land in Concord.
They had been living there for several months because they said there is nowhere else to go. They said they represent more than 150 people who are in the same situation.
"We stumbled on it. We liked it. We camped -- three weeks later they are putting signs up saying no camping here," said Wendell Ford, who is homeless.
Ford, a registered sex offender, who found himself homeless after his release from prison, is one of five men who lived there.
While their camps are not clearly visible from Hazen Drive, the new signs posted by the state are.
The homeless in Concord were already told to leave areas they have frequented for years -- land behind the Everett Arena is now abandoned, as well as the area near the railroad tracks referred to as "the tubes."
"Where can the homeless go? They are pushing all the homeless out of the area," Ford said.
So, three of the men who now live on this land decided to take their concerns to court. They enlisted the help of attorney Barbara Keshen, who has filed a lawsuit suing the state.
"They are trying to live peacefully and out of the way and trying to be good neighbors," Keshen said.
She also said this isn't only about the three men on the lawsuit, but the entire homeless community in Concord. She said there are at least 150 of them.
"There needs to be some accommodation, some place where people who are destitute and have no place to live can live and survive," Keshen said.
State officials won't comment on the lawsuit but said they have been reaching out to advocates for the homeless community to make sure they know about services available to them. But those affected said the further they're moved, the harder it is for them to get to those services.
"It would be different if the shoe was on the other foot, how would they feel if they were homeless, what would they do?" said Ford.
Both the homeless and their advocates will gather in front of the State House on Tuesday to speak out about the recent evictions and urge lawmakers to find alternatives for them.
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