On Tuesday, January 3rd, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen outlined short term and long term steps to increase available emergency shelter beds in the City of Manchester and address public health and safety concerns in the area of Pine and Manchester Street. The work of the Board resulted in the opening of the City of Manchester Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to serve as a consolidation point for the first responders and departments to facilitate decision making.
Today, the EOC announced that the State of New Hampshire has agreed to grant the City use of the vacant former Tirrell House at 15 Brook Street for use as a women’s shelter. The City will partner with YWCA New Hampshire to provide staffing and wrap around services at the facility.
“I want to thank the YWCA for stepping up to help the City of Manchester address this critical need, as well as the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services for responding to our request for use of the former Tirrell House,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “We are encouraged by this collaboration, and we hope this is a first step toward a more cooperative approach to addressing homelessness across the state.”
YWCA New Hampshire currently operates Emily’s Place, a confidential emergency shelter program for individuals rebuilding their lives after experiencing domestic and/or sexual violence.
“YWCA NH is pleased to partner with Mayor Joyce Craig and the City of Manchester to support the development and implementation of a women focused shelter in our city,” said Jessica Cantin, CEO, YWCA New Hampshire. “We have provided trauma-informed shelter services in the community for over 30 years. Innovation during a time of crisis, can be challenging, this type of collaboration is how we continue to address the acute needs of the unhoused community here in Manchester. This is a step in the right direction, and we applaud Mayor Joyce Craig and the City for taking bold action in the face of an increasingly growing crisis.”
Use of the Tirrell House was requested by eight of New Hampshire’s Mayors in a letter sent on January 3rd to Governor Sununu, Acting Commissioner of Health and Human Services Lori Weaver, and Associate Commissioner Christine Santaniello to address a statewide shortage of emergency shelter beds for women experiencing homelessness.
The Tirrell House was used by Families in Transition as a Men’s Transitional Living Program until November of 2022, when the program ceased operations and returned to the State of New Hampshire.
Approval by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of a Use of Premises Agreement with the State will be sought via phone poll today, January 11th, and will then come before the Executive Council on Wednesday, January 18th.
Additional EOC Updates:
The first action taken by the EOC was to open a temporary warming station with cots at the William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center for individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The Cashin Center is open from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am daily, and storage of belongings and transportation is provided.
Last night, January 10th, the Cashin Center served 15 individuals. Since the Cashin Center was opened, a total of 31 individuals have been served, with many staying multiple nights.
There have been reports of an overdose at the Cashin Center last night, however, this is inaccurate. There was no overdose and the ambulance requested for this concern was canceled.
The Cashin Center was opened, in addition to the warming station provided by 1269 Cafe and HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery at 456 Union Street, to address the lack of capacity at state-funded shelters across New Hampshire.
The EOC is working daily with New Hampshire 2-1-1 to understand shelter capacity throughout the state and connect individuals in need with available shelter beds, including connecting non-manchester residents with any resources available in their home communities.
Daily outreach efforts from Manchester Fire, Manchester Police, and partner organizations are ongoing around the Pine St and Manchester St encampment, and Manchester Police continues 24/7 police patrols in the area.
Additional Winter Warming Station Opening this Evening
Action taken due to a lack of capacity at state-funded emergency shelters
MANCHESTER, NH - Due to the increase in unsheltered homelessness and lack of emergency shelter beds across the state of New Hampshire, the City of Manchester has opened the William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center as an additional temporary warming station for individuals in Manchester experiencing homelessness.
The Cashin Center will open this evening, January 6th, at 7:00pm and close at 6:00am daily. The temporary shelter will be staffed by the Fire & Police Departments, and transportation will be provided to and from 1269 Cafe (456 Union Street) beginning at 7:00pm. Temporary storage of items will be provided.
Hours of operations for the temporary warming station will not interfere with regular business or senior activities. Aramark will be performing deep cleaning and sanitization every morning, including electrostatic sprayers and disinfecting of surfaces. In response to COVID-19, the City of Manchester improved ventilation and filtration in the building through federal funding provided by the American Rescue Plan.
The William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center has been part of the City of Manchester's Emergency Operations Plan for decades, and was last used as a temporary shelter when the State of New Hampshire cleared an encampment off the County Courthouse property in November of 2020.
“The Cashin Center is a valued space in the Manchester community that has a particular significance for me and my family,” said Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management Ryan Cashin. “The decision to use this space as a temporary emergency warming station was made to address the urgent need to save lives this winter.”
The Manchester Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated this afternoon to serve as a consolidation point for the first responders and departments to facilitate decision making during emergency situations.
Through the EOC, The City of Manchester continues to pursue a more suitable space for a 24/7 emergency winter shelter, due to a lack of capacity at state-funded emergency shelters across the state, including the Families in Transition Adult Emergency Shelter located in Manchester, as well as other solutions to address homelessness.
Today, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, along with Mayor Jim Donchess of Nashua, Mayor Paul Grenier of Berlin, Mayor Dana Hilliard of Somersworth, Mayor Jo Brown of Franklin, Mayor Dale Girard of Claremont, Mayor Bob Carrier of Dover, and Mayor Andrew Hosmer of Laconia, sent a letter to Governor Sununu, DHHS Commissioner Weaver, and Associate Commissioner Santaniello outlining immediate needs from the State of New Hampshire to address the statewide homelessness crisis.
“The State of New Hampshire’s systems of care for individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness are not meeting the needs of communities across the state and are contributing to a statewide homelessness crisis,” wrote the mayors, who represent communities in every corner of the state.
“Building more affordable, and supportive housing is a long term solution, but with winter upon us, the State of New Hampshire’s housing and homelessness crisis is reaching a tipping point. State government and local communities need to collectively work towards sustainable, evidence-based solutions that not only address our ongoing housing shortage, but also meet the immediate and dire needs of New Hampshire’s unsheltered population. The only way to save the lives of some of the most vulnerable New Hampshire residents is through collaboration, transparency, and accountability.”
The mayors made four immediate requests of the State to help mitigate harm and loss of life during this winter in New Hampshire
- Immediately increase the number of emergency shelter beds statewide
- Request New Hampshire National Guard staff facilities, if nonprofit partners are unable to adequately assist
- Make additional shelter for women available
- For this purpose, the City of Manchester is requesting the temporary use of the state-owned Tirrell House located at 15 Brook Street in Manchester
- Provide medical respite care to individuals experiencing homelessness when released from hospital
- Provide additional shelter and resources for homeless youth
In addition to the requests for direct assistance to local communities dealing with a surge of homelessness, the Mayors are calling for increased collaboration, transparency, and accountability for state programs dealing with homelessness and associated issues including:
- Provide a public statewide emergency operations plan for the winter
- Make information about statewide warming stations public and shareable
- Provide regular updates to municipalities on outcomes provided by Emergency Shelter Service Providers and Certified Recovery Houses that are registered through the NH Coalition of Recovery Residences
Homelessness has come to the forefront in recent weeks because of several tragic incidents that have occurred among the homeless population, which are the direct result of a lack of adequate supportive housing, mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
Over 4,500 New Hampshire residents will experience homelessness at some point this year. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of individuals statewide who have experienced unsheltered homelessness has almost tripled, and in 2022, 95 unsheltered individuals tragically passed away.
This communication from New Hampshire's Mayors to Governor Sununu follows a letter sent in 2020, where they warned of the impending homelessness crisis and urged a statewide response. Read the 2020 letter here.
Today, Mayor Joyce Craig and the Manchester Department of Public Works announced that the municipal solar array, located at the former Dunbarton Road landfill, has exceeded power generation projections in the first year of operation.
In just one year,, the solar array has supplied approximately 4,377,420 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy to the power grid. This level of output is 15% higher than initial estimates predicted.
“We’re thrilled that our solar array, the largest municipal array in the state, is already outperforming our original estimates, generating enough electricity to power 600 homes annually here in Manchester,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “I’m grateful for the hard work of the Department of Public Works and their commitment to creating clean energy options for Queen City residents.”
“The Department of Public Works is proud to be part of this sustainable initiative providing clean, renewable energy to Manchester residents,” added Tim Clougherty, Public Works Director. “We’d like to thank our energy consultant, Competitive Energy Services, the project developer, Kearsarge Energy, Mayor Craig and the Aldermen for helping bring this clean-energy project to reality.”
The array has also generated $35,570 in additional revenue to the City of Manchester, and offset 3,420 tons of CO2 which is equivalent to:
- 668 gasoline passenger vehicles driven for a full year
- 3 million pounds of coal burned
- 350,000 gallons of gasoline burned
Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced the hiring of Adrienne Beloin as the City of Manchester’s new Director of Homelessness Initiatives. Prior to taking her role with the City, Adrienne was overseeing the largest day shelter and wrap around services for homeless individuals in Massachusetts.
“Adrienne’s experience working with people experiencing homelessness and helping them overcome barriers to accessing safe, affordable housing makes her a tremendous asset to our community,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “She has a proven track record of being a problem-solver and advocate, which is exactly what we need to address the complex issue of homelessness in Manchester and throughout the state.”
“I have had a warm welcome returning to New Hampshire and my impression is that there is a tremendous amount of compassion and dedication we can leverage here in Manchester coming from the concerned community, the local service providers, and the City departments” said Adrienne Beloin, Director of Homelessness Initiatives. “We understand that we need to increase access to housing, increase access to treatment, and decrease stigma. I know we can improve the ways we work together, unite our goals, and maximize new and existing resources. It will take both an urgent response and a steady approach that is shaped by harm reduction and trauma-informed practices.”
Adrienne Beloin grew up in New Hampshire and has worked with homelessness for over 20 years in the Boston area. Adrienne holds a Master’s in Social Work from Simmons University and has worked as a direct service clinician and senior leader focused on the rehabilitation of homeless adults in the areas of behavioral health, income, and housing. Adrienne has worked on City initiatives implementing leading innovations for chronic homelessness, substance use disorders, and encampments.
Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced the third annual Manchester Holiday Lights Contest. Run by the Mayor’s Office and sponsored by Manchester Radio Group, this friendly contest encourages Queen City residents to decorate their homes and show off their holiday light displays for all to enjoy.
“The Holiday Lights Contest is a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “I'm grateful for the enthusiastic participation of our residents. Viewing the many homes with lights, decorations and sometimes even music is a tradition not to be missed!”
All those interested in participating in the Manchester Holiday Lights Contest, can complete a registration form beginning Wednesday, November 23rd and ending at 5:00pm on Thursday, December 8th. Forms can be completed online, or printed and returned by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to ‘Mayor’s Office, 1 City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101’.
All participating lights displays will be included in the public Manchester Holiday Lights Map, and prizes will be awarded to the top vote-getting holiday lights displays.
Judging forms will be available starting on Friday, December 9th, and must be completed and returned by Monday, December 19th at 5:00 pm.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, December 21st via Facebook Live.
Last night, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to deem the former Hallsville School property surplus, allowing the building to be leased and redeveloped.
The redevelopment proposal from Southern New Hampshire Services (SNHS) and Granite State Children’s Alliance (GSCA) includes creating 20 units of affordable housing for seniors, an early childhood classroom, and a Child Advocacy Center, run by Granite State Children’s Alliance, which provides support for children who have experienced trauma.
Manchester Parks & Recreation will retain use and management of the gymnasium for community events, including a popular pickleball league currently meeting on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
“Hallsville School is an important part of our City’s history,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “By leasing it to Southern New Hampshire Services and Granite State Children’s Alliance, we are ensuring this historic building is preserved, meets the needs of our community, and is a compliment to the neighborhood. There will be a lot of work ahead, and we will continue to involve the neighbors in the process as we move forward.”
“Southern New Hampshire Services and Granite State Children’s Alliance want to work cooperatively with the Hallsville community,” said Ward 7 Alderman Mary Health. “They respect the school’s multigenerational history and will continue Hallsville’s commitment to serving children and families.”
The City will retain ownership of the buildings and lease them for a nominal amount for 30 years to SNHS and GSCA with the organizations taking full responsibility for redeveloping the space, paying the utilities, and paying for regular maintenance.
MANCHESTER, NH – Last week, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to approve $3 million in federal funds to significantly increase the number of affordable housing units in Manchester through three projects.
With this funding, Lincoln Avenue Capital, a firm out of Santa Monica, CA, will construct two buildings of affordable housing, one at 351 Chestnut Street, the site of the former police station, and a second replacing a parking lot across the street at the corner of Chestnut Street and Merrimack Street. Together, these projects will create approximately 142 studio, one, and two-bedroom units, affordable for individuals at 0%-60% AMI (Area Median Income).
The third project will create three new units of emergency housing for families experiencing homelessness at the Families in Transition Family Place Shelter at 167 Lake Ave.
“The City of Manchester is taking action and increasing much needed affordable housing options for our residents including senior citizens, young professionals and families,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “These developments will transform the neighborhood and improve the lives of many. I’m grateful to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for their commitment to increasing affordable housing in our community.”
“All three of these projects are great examples of how beneficial public-private partnerships can be for our community,” said Jeff Belanger, Director of Planning and Community Development. “The demand to live in Manchester has never been greater, and these projects show how the City is working with federal and private partners to meet that demand for people of all incomes.”
This approval follows a similar Request for Proposal for $4.7 million from 2021, which funded upgrades to 101 units of housing at the NeighborWorks Elm Street Brownstones, 48 new affordable housing units at Kelley Falls through Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the creation of 15 new supportive housing units through Waypoint and the Helping Hands Outreach Center.
MANCHESTER, NH – With the recent rise in gas, oil, and electric costs, Mayor Joyce Craig is urging eligible Manchester residents apply for fuel assistance funded by the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and administered locally by Southern New Hampshire Services. In addition to fuel assistance, eligible residents can concurrently apply for electric assistance, also administered by SNHS.
“Colder weather is here, so I strongly recommend eligible residents not wait and apply now for fuel and electric assistance,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The rise in home heating and electric costs is a financial burden for many families in our community. No one should have to choose between food, housing, and keeping warm.”
“With the current increase in energy prices, SNHS is encouraging residents to contact us to apply for Fuel Assistance as soon as possible,” said Donnalee Lozeau, CEO of Southern New Hampshire Services. “Benefits are at an all-time high this year. The Fuel Assistance program will open on November 1st, however we are accepting applications now. Call 603-668-8010 or visit our website www.snhs.org today for an application.”
Benefits range from $304 to $3,024 and are based on monthly household income and annual heating costs. This program is open to eligible renters and homeowners, and benefits can be applied to the bill of electric and gas utility, as well as deliverable fuel such as oil, kerosene, propane, wood or coal. Residents who may not be eligible but who are experiencing financial hardship are still encouraged to call SNHS.
Residents behind on their electric or gas bills are also recommended to apply for a payment plan through their utility provider in order to avoid service disconnection.
Utility customer service phone numbers:
NH Electric Co-Op: 1-800-698-2007
MANCHESTER, NH – Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced the City of Manchester will host the annual holiday parade on Saturday December 3, 2022.
Organizations interested in participating in the 2022 Holiday Parade can register here.
“I am looking forward to joining all of our participants at this year's Holiday Parade,” said Alderman Bill Barry. “I want to thank our great city for coordinating this event and I am hoping that it will be even more successful than last year. This will give Manchester’s families a chance to get out and enjoy a day of joy.”
“The Holiday Parade is an opportunity for Manchester to attract visitors from outside the area who might consider moving here or starting a business in our great City,” said Jodie Nazaka, Director of the Manchester Economic Development Office. “We look forward to kicking off the holiday season with a boost of economic energy in our downtown.”
The Holiday Parade will begin at 4:00 pm immediately following the BASC Santa Claus Shuffle, presented by Millennium Running.
For more information on the BASC Santa Claus Shuffle or to register, visit: http://www.millenniumrunning.com/santa