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Winter Updates 2023-24 Newsletter: PDF Available

Published: 02/21/2024 2:49 PM

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Click HERE to directly download the "Housing Stability Newsletter Winter 23-24" PDF.

This ensures seamless access to our latest information.

Thank you for your engagement and support.

Ongoing Support Needed at 39 Beech Street

Published: 02/20/2024 4:56 PM

As we navigate these complex times, the Department of Housing Stability's mission is increasingly critical. Located at 39 Beech Street, our facility is a cornerstone for support, offering essential services to unsheltered adults. This center is a testament to our city's dedication to providing care and assistance to those in need.

We Need Your Help: Updated Essential Items List

As we continue to adapt to the changing needs of those we serve, we've updated our essential items list. Your generosity can have an immediate impact. We urgently need:

  • Warmth and Comfort: Jackets, New Underwear, Socks, Bras
  • Daily Essentials: Coffee, Disposable Cups, Sugar, Creamer, Toilet Paper
  • More (See Donations Flyer)

These items, while simple, are fundamental in providing the care and dignity everyone deserves. Your support is not just about meeting needs; it's about upholding our community values.

Easy Ways to Donate:

  • Drop Off Location: 39 Beech Street, Manchester
  • Donation Hours: Open Daily, 9 AM to 5 PM

Every contribution, regardless of size, is a powerful gesture of solidarity. It's through these acts that our community's spirit shines brightest.

We are deeply grateful for each donation and for the unwavering support of our community members. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of our unsheltered neighbors.

For more details or inquiries, feel free to reach out to the Department of Housing Stability.

Manchester Homelessness Continuum of Care Updates

Published: 02/19/2024 8:54 AM

This week on Friday February 23rd; myself and the Chair of the MCoC, Matt McCall are hosting another informational session.  Please join us if you are new to the CoC and want to understand more about how we end homelessness together using the federal best practices, governance, committees, and key stakeholders in Manchester.  Here is the zoom link for you to join us. 

Join Manchester Continuum of Care Info Session:  Friday Feb 23 from noon – 1pm.
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84148068809?pwd=D4WtSGOy6aYhmtAjAjWc4RbPNPp4m3.1

Meeting ID: 841 4806 8809
Passcode: 756124

The next MCoC General Assembly meeting will be March 21st from 9-10:30 AM and virtual this time. 

Join the next General Assembly Meeting

https://thehome.zoom.us/j/92182435101?pwd=NjgvK29VOXVpOVYvYXNQaG8zQlRKUT09

Meeting ID: 921 8243 5101

Passcode: 852673

Take care and talk soon,

Adrienne Beloin on behalf of MCoC Leadership

 

Mayor Jay Ruais Delivers “State of the City” Address Focused on Homelessness

Published: 02/15/2024 9:45 AM

Manchester, NH – Today, Mayor Jay Ruais delivered his first “State of the City” address. He specifically chose to address the issue of homelessness. Marrying words with action, he announced 8 new proposals that will be delivered in the coming months, on top of the 5 actions already underway since the beginning of the administration. 

Proposed:

  1. Strengthen Ordinances- Directed the City Solicitor to review all ordinances relating to congregating, sitting, sleeping or lying on city streets so that we can identify areas we can strengthen. We will move with all available haste to strengthen our ordinances.

  2. Banning Camping- The Supreme Court is set to take up this issue, with a ruling coming this summer. If this ruling is overturned, Manchester will move to outlaw camping in our city.

  3. Recovery Residences-

    1. Lobby the state to develop a licensing and certification process to ensure the highest operational standards. Creating this process will provide consistency and regulatory understanding, which will reduce the imperative of these residences being created in, and people being sent to, Manchester.

    2. Call on all recovery residences in the City of Manchester to become certified through the New Hampshire Coalition of Recovery Residences which is based on a national standard set by the National Association of Recovery Residences.

  4. Zoning Ordinance to Promote Housing Construction –

    1. Building on the success of last year’s ADU ordinance modification, we now propose further changes that would eliminate a Planning Board review entirely, making it easier for homeowners to construct various types of ADUs on their properties. The requirements regarding the ADU structure will still be in place, they will be outlined in the ordinance; this proposal simply aims to expedite the process, recognizing the importance of swift action to address our city's housing needs. 

    2. Currently, our Zoning Ordinance imposes minimum lot sizes for the construction of up to three dwelling units per property, with additional square-footage requirements for each unit beyond three. Our proposed change seeks to permit an additional unit (four) within the same lot size that was previously limited to three.

  5. Creation of Homeless Courts- Those who are experiencing homelessness, may have misdemeanor criminal quality of life charges, or citations, making it difficult to get a job, a license or a roof over their head. Thus, it will be difficult to break the cycle of homelessness. Homeless courts are special court sessions held in local shelters or community sites with a volunteer judge, typically taking a few hours per month at no cost. This meets the person where they are, and is an effective way to address crime, and divert the individual into a better life, thus breaking the cycle they are currently trapped within. 

  6. Opioid Rewrite- The City of Manchester is undertaking a crucial initiative – the update of our "2016 City of Manchester: Response to the Opioid Crisis" with the unveiling of the "2024 City of Manchester Overdose Prevention Strategy." This strategy is not merely a document; it is a comprehensive blueprint that reflects our collective determination to address the opioid epidemic head-on. Those experiencing homelessness accounted for nearly half of all overdoses last year, addiction is a major contributing factor. Therefore, addressing addiction has to be a key component to address the homeless crisis.

  7. Leveraging City Properties to Promote More Housing- The Department of Water Works and the Tax Collector identified suitable city-owned land that can be made available for development. The Department of Water Works has already deemed a parcel of land as surplus and the Board of Mayor and Alderman will take this up shortly. Our Tax Collector and Assessor have identified 14 vacant lots. Our goal is to work with reputable developers, and community partners, who share our commitment to creating housing options that cater to the diverse needs of our community. The process will involve community input, and we will prioritize developments that align with our values and meet the needs of our residents.

  8. State Grants- We are actively working with the Governor’s Office and the Legislature to secure an appropriation of $5.23 million for the Farnum and Waypoint projects over the next few months. This additional funding will have a dramatic impact on the sustainability of these programs, which do such great work in our community. 

 

Underway:

  1. Bail Reform- January 3rd- Press Conference with Aldermen and state legislators in Concord to urge the legislature to vote for the bail reform bills that were on their docket. These passed. Continue to work with the Governor and legislature on future measures as we have more work to do on this issue.   

  2. NH Council on Housing Stability -One of three mayors in the state to have a position on the council which allows us to leverage collective efforts and pool resources to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those experiencing homelessness. This position will also allow for greater communication and collaboration with other communities to help them address their challenges without having to send those in need to our city. 

  3. Continuum of Care- Expanded the Manchester Continuum of Care (CoC) by adding 15 members. This move is a crucial first step towards fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders. it is a commitment to bringing together our community partners, stakeholders, and decision-makers to end homelessness in our city. The CoC will vote next month on moving forward with this process and beginning transition steps.

  4. Anti-Stigma Campaign- The city was chosen as one of one hundred cities nationally to participate in an Anti-Stigma Initiative. It is designed to increase awareness about addiction, improve helping behaviors towards those with SUD, and offer learning opportunities about evidence-based treatment options, signs and symptoms of addiction, and effective engagement strategies. This initiative is not just about combating addiction; it is about addressing one of the root causes of homelessness, demonstrating our commitment to building a healthier and more compassionate community.

  5. City Grants- Recently the city received grants totaling $1.65 million, dedicated to two crucial affordable housing projects which are poised to create 142 affordable

Beacon on Brook Street Women's Shelter is Open!

Published: 01/26/2024 5:36 PM

Beacon on Brook Street is a low barrier, Women's Emergency Shelter for Women alone or with children.  Now Open.

Please call or walk in to 15 Brook Street, Manchester:  603-698-3231

The Engagement Center at 39 Beech St

Published: 12/06/2023 5:00 PM

The Engagement Center
39 Beech Street, Manchester
Every day; 9AM to 5PM
603-413-1775

The EC is a central homelessness support hub, available seven days a week dedicated to assisting all Manchester adult residents who are grappling with housing instability.  The EC is a compliment to the 40 bed adult emergency shelter that we provide at the 39 Beech St. location.  The center is a collaborative effort with the network of providers and advocates that service this population.  The model increases collaboration, care coordination, and improves and measures outcomes particularly for the population of unsheltered, unhoused individuals. 

Data-Driven Approach:
One of our core objectives is to centralize data related to the homeless population. This initiative will provide the city with a comprehensive understanding of who is homeless in our community and the factors contributing to homelessness and help identify effective solutions. By addressing issues such as histories of housing, credit, criminality, and more, we aim to tackle the root causes of homelessness in Manchester.

Our Commitment:
At the EC, we are committed to helping our guests recover from homelessness. Our mission is to provide low threshold services that are on demand and in person in an environment that is person centered, recovery oriented, and trauma informed.  We provide a community space that strives to be safe and welcoming.  The space is serviced-enriched with our community partners specializing in street outreach, housing, and behavioral health.  If you would like to partner with us, reach out to the Housing Stability Dept. at 603-792-3853

What We Offer:
Hygiene Facilities: The EC offers essential amenities such as laundry, showers, bathrooms and essential supplies, ensuring that individuals have access to basic personal hygiene.  The EC will also function as a warming station extension for fatality prevention during the Winter daily (overnight in extreme weather conditions only).

Meals: We are partnering with the NH Food Bank and the First United Methodist Church to provide nutritious meals and refreshments on site.

Clothing: Our center also offers clothing both basics and work oriented, helping individuals maintain their dignity and comfort.

Substance Use Support: We facilitate access to substance abuse treatment, harm reduction support, peer counseling, and recovery housing.

Mental Health Support: The EC facilitates access to mental health services, recognizing the importance of emotional well-being in achieving housing stability.

Medical Care: Our facility partners with medical professionals available to attend to health needs on site.

Housing Navigation: Our team is dedicated to helping individuals find and maintain housing; addressing obstacles like lack of vital records, identification, and income.  We partner with providers who remove barriers to housing with case management and housing navigation services.  We partner with legal services to also address criminal and housing histories that can limit access to housing.

Employment Services: We partner on site with programs that provide assistance to those seeking employment opportunities, promoting self-sufficiency and economic stability.

Donations can be dropped off 7 days a week at 39 Beech St, between 9am and 5pm:  We invite the community to support our mission by donating items that can greatly assist individuals in their journey toward housing stability. Your generosity can make a significant difference.

We are currently in need of the following items:

Winter wear, backpacks, feminine supplies, tooth-brushing supplies, hair supplies, deodorant, band aids, razors, lotion, hand sanitizer, trash bags, wallets, toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, bar soap, paper plates, plastic utensils, to go cups, ground coffee, sugar, sweetener, creamer, hand warmers, toe warmers, shower shoes, journals, and planners.

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