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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey Hastings

Homeless Ordered To Vacate The Manchester Street Encampment By January 17th

The City of Manchester in the midst of what has been described as a homeless crisis has announced they will begin to shut down one of the largest encampments.

A large encampment of tents grew over the last several weeks outside of the Families In Transition Homeless shelter on Manchester Street. The homeless who have been evicted and removed from encampments throughout the city for over two years settled outside of the shelter on the sidewalk and have erected makeshift temporary structures and tents.

In a memo obtained by Manchester Information that was sent out from Adrienne Beloin, Director of Homelessness Initiatives

Due to the growing safety concerns for the encampment at Pine and Manchester Street, it’s been decided to ask these residents to vacate the area. This vacate posting will begin tomorrow morning at 9 AM; Monday, January 9th and provide notice for folks to relocate over 7 days.

All residents in the encampment must vacate themselves and their belongings by 12 AM on Tuesday, January 17th or they will be subject to citation. The police have increased their presence to 24/7 in this area and that will continue. Outreach from the police and fire squad 1 will continue daily and outreach teams servicing this area are encouraged, when you think best to flood the area with support and intervention so that residents can find a safe alternative.

We started the operation of the overnight warming station at the Cashin Senior Center this weekend and we had a handful of grateful folks using the service. The center offered cots, charging stations, water, and off-site storage.

The Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting held Tuesday became a sounding board for many angry businesses and property owners who complained about being plagued with problems. Business owners spoke about people sleeping in their doorways, leaving needles, trash, and human feces behind. One daycare near the Manchester encampment announced it was closing due to concerns over safety.

The encampment on Manchester Street has also been the site of a death of a woman in a tent, and a recent double stabbing that left blood spanning more than a city block.

After the meeting where concerns were expressed, Mayor Craig announced a new temporary warming shelter at the Cashin Senior Center on the Westside. Citizens expressed concerns about bringing people in overnight, and many of the homeless refused to go. The people who could use the shelter were told they could not bring all their personal belongings and would be allowed one secure tote. They needed to be in the warming shelter by 7 p.m. and out by 6 a.m.

In a memo from Beloin, she described the update on the warming center:

Couples can be accommodated as there is plenty of room in the large open space. We are going to add snacks, juice, and the availability of having their stored items on-site for ease of access. Transportation was provided from the 1269 area as needed to the Cashin center and back in the AM with a city bus. The Cashin Center is meant to be a temporary relief due the emergency of safety and cold weather. We adjusted to having people wake up and be out of the Cashin by 6 AM.

Manchester Information was able to verify through sources that five individuals used the warming shelter, and an unknown amount of people Saturday night.

A memo from the City of Manchester sent Sunday afternoon said the City of Manchester’s community response teams, as well as nonprofit partners, including 211, will be on-site to continue daily outreach to connect individuals with available services, including treatment for both Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.

In addition to the Warming Station at 1269 Cafe at 456 Union Street, the City of Manchester opened an additional warming center with cots for individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness at the William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center, open from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am daily. The City of Manchester provides storage of belongings and transportation to and from the Cashin Center.

In addition to these two existing sheltering options, the Emergency Operations Center continues to seek suitable space for a 24/7 emergency shelter, due to the lack of capacity at state-funded shelters across New Hampshire. An update on an additional sheltering location is expected soon.

Manchester Information will continue to cover the developing homeless situation throughout the city.

©Jeffrey Hastings

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