General Assistance


City of Keene Human Services Department (City Welfare) provides short-term, emergency assistance to qualified Keene residents for the essentials of daily living.

Human Services makes referrals to programs that aid individuals and families to return to a state of financial self-sufficiency.

Under the authority of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, Chapter 165, Section 1, II, and in accordance with City of Keene General Assistance Guidelines, Human Services provides assistance only to residents of Keene who qualify. 

Basic Needs Policy
Per the City of Keene Human Services guidelines, it is the applicant/recipient's responsibility to utilize all available benefits or resources to reduce the need for general assistance.  This department will direct the applicant/recipient to apply for other resources and also will require the applicant/recipient to use current resources to meet all basic needs in order to reduce the need for general assistance, now and in the future.

While Working with this department, you will be required to use your earned or unearned resources for basic needs only.  Some examples of these are:

Allowable Expenses:   *Rent/Mortgage   *Non-Food hygiene products   *Gas/Electric/Oil Expense
                                    *Food  *Diapers  *Prescriptions   *Companion Pet Food   *Limited Clothing
                                    *Basic Phone Plans   *Laundry   *Medical   *Dental

Lease costly transportation expense will be allowed, with verifiable receipts, if needed for work or medical appointments or other appointments made in order to meet conditions of assistance. 

The following are examples of unallowable expenses:

Unallowable Expenses:    
          *Storage Fees   *Bank Fees & Title/Pay Day Loan Payments  *Credit Card Payments   
                     *Bail Payment/Court Fines or Fees   *Video Games/Lottery  *Cable
                     *Repayment of Personal Loans/College Loans   *Restaurant/Fast Food
                     *Tobacco/Alcohol Products   *Miscellaneous Payments/Program Expenses and or Fees
As a condition of assistance, you will be required to first use all available resources, as directed, to meet your basic needs.  Unaltered, dated receipts for all expenses are required 

Income Tax Refund: 
Please be advised that if you are requesting assistance from this office, all Income Tax Refunds will be considered income and must be used for allowable expenses such as rent, utilities, medications, medical bills, and childcare.  Budgets in this office will include all income and assistance will be determined from the household budget.

You are required to provide this office with a copy of your Income Tax Return Paperwork.  You must immediately notify this office of any refund payment.  Not doing so will be considered FRAUD and will be prosecuted accordingly.


  • Complete a written application
  • Schedule an appointment to determine eligibility
  • Complete a full financial reivew


  • Appointment
  • Financial Review
  • City will consider expenses for the essentials of daily living to determine eligibility
  • Responsibility of applicant to provide necessary documentation


  • Approval/Denial/Referral
  • Amount and type of assistance
  • Responsibilities of recipient
  • Referrals to other agencies.


An appointment and complete financial review are required for the first and each subsequent request for assistance.

Applicants are required to provide in writing verification of income and all expenses for the essentials of daily living to determine eligibility.


During walk-in hours only assistance with the following will be handled:

  • No heat (Heating season is October 15, 2016 - April 15, 2017)
  • Utility disconnect
  • Needed life threatening medications
  • Homeless (on the street) call 211 and ask for "Homeless Outreach"

Walk-in hours are 8:30 am - 9:30 am Monday - Friday

The Human Services Office is closed every Tuesday Afternoon at 1:00 pm