As the calendar turns to spring, the Warming Center of Strafford County will close on April 1.

The center provided shelter to more homeless individuals this winter, as those staying at the Willand Pond homeless encampment on the Somersworth/Dover border were told to leave in November.

The owner of the encampment, Garabedian Properties of Salem, NH, requested that police clear out the camp so the property could be sold.

The Center provided services to over 315 people, and is a partnership of the cities of Rochester, Dover, and Somersworth, plus the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County, which oversaw operations.

The total included 218 men and 101 women, with an average age of 40. It has also provided emergency shelter for 71 disabled persons and 11 veterans.

Those who stayed at the Warming Center were able to connect with a number of agencies to help with medical care, mental health care, veteran support, and other needs. Those in need of services once the center closes should contact their local welfare office or Community Action Partnership of Strafford County.

In the long term, the cities will continue working with the county on the Homeless Master Plan adopted in 2019 that will offer support to faith-based organizations, treatment providers, and other groups that offer help to the homeless.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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