The statement by Welfare Commissioner Paul Martineau that ‘during his tenure as Welfare Commissioner no homeless family or individual was ever turned away,’ is false. His statement ‘shelter has always been provided’ is also false,” stated longtime Manchester social activist and Executive Director of Welcome Home Dorothy Seay. “We have on file at Welcome Home a file full of denial slips from the Manchester City Welfare office denying help to people in need. I will be happy to show that file to anyone to prove that his statement is a categorical lie.”
“It may be true that city funding is provided to the Manchester Emergency Housing Shelter and New Horizons, but the facts are that that funding started long before he was Welfare Commissioner and it’s certainly nothing he can take credit for. The facts are that the Manchester Emergency Housing Shelter can only house 8 families at one time. The Welcome Home organization currently houses 84 people, including 41 children, in their home. A lot of these people have been turned down by Martineau’s office,” said Seay.
“The law requires Martineau, ‘to assist any person in the city who is poor and unable to support himself.’ His job is to provide temporary assistance, especially for housing in these cases. Our file shows a case where a local woman’s house burned down and she applied for temporary assistance and was denied. Another case is a family who moved here from the country of Lebanon when their home was destroyed in that war, Martineau again refused to provide temporary assistance because of technicalities. Both families that Martineau refused to serve, after much runaround, got help from other agencies and are now back as productive,tax-paying members of society.”
“Our files are full of cases where people were denied temporary help and shunted off to other social service agencies because Paul Martineau does not do what the law requires him to do—take care of the needy and desperate. That’s why Manchester’s homeless figures are rising and our home which takes care of 84 people is under severe financial pressure.”“That’s why a dozen people demonstrated and picketed outside of last week’s debate at the Saint Anselm’s Institute of Politics with signs proclaiming, ‘Martineau chased me out of his office’ and ‘Martineau told me he could not give me city assistance because I could sleep in my pickup truck.’ If Martineau was telling the truth, we wouldn’t have been there. We will continue to tell our story anywhere that we know Paul Martineau is going to be.” Seay concluded.