Manchester Union Leader - Editorial
June 29. 2015 7:33PM
A roof over one's head: If regulations don't prevent it
Keith Howard, executive director of Manchester’s homeless veterans shelter called Liberty House, is living out of a cargo trailer in Raymond to help other veterans. His experiment might work — if local regulations don’t kill it.
Howard outfitted the trailer, which has no running water, so a homeless veteran could live in it. The first time he tried to set it up in an area town, he was told it would violate local regulations.
Fortunately, Raymond is a small town where regulations are not a big impediment to helping others. With the aid of landowner Elizabeth “Alaya” Chadwick and Selectman Jack Barnes, Howard found a spot for the trailer. A cargo trailer is not a perfect home. But it beats a tent, a park bench or the shade of a tree by the Merrimack River.
About the only people who would disagree are local regulators. One can imagine the long list of housing and zoning regulations a trailer for homeless veterans could violate, and the equal number of explanations that one simply cannot live in a cargo trailer even if the only alternative is no roof or walls at all.
Thankfully, New Hampshire has not run out of places like Raymond where people can help each other without being stopped by the bureaucracy. Not yet, anyway.
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