October 20, 2020
(Manchester, NH) -- “Homelessness is a crisis affecting our city, communities throughout our state, and throughout our country. For months, we've watched as unsheltered individuals set up an encampment on state-owned land where the Hillsborough North Superior Courthouse is located. And today, it's estimated that approximately 25 people are living on that state-owned land in Manchester.
The City and our local service providers conduct outreach on a daily basis, and police patrol the area to ensure no illegal activity is occurring. While the City is doing everything it can to keep the area safe, the State has jurisdiction over this property.
In September, the State posted “no camping” signs on the state-owned property, but during a recent call, they did not share any plans to move individuals from the location. Throughout the course of the conversation, the State advised that no one, including unsheltered individuals, would be prevented from being on their property, confirmed there’s no curfew, and made it clear that they were focused on an anti-camping provision, not an anti-loitering provision.
The State cannot move individuals from state-owned land unless they can identify a specific bed for each individual, which is the same situation Manchester and other communities are in. This is why for over three years, the City has been advocating that the State increase the number of emergency shelter beds, supportive housing, and affordable housing options statewide.
The State plays a significant role in ensuring that all communities have the tools and resources they need to prevent and end homelessness. However, the last time the State completed a statewide plan to address homelessness was in 2006. The State is now in the same position that Manchester and many other communities are in, where unsheltered individuals are living on public land, with no other sheltering options available.
Winter is around the corner. And while we're actively preparing for emergency winter sheltering and making fatality prevention plans -- the City of Manchester can't solve this problem alone. We all have a shared responsibility to help our most vulnerable residents, and it's past time for the State to acknowledge their role and take action.”
MANCHESTER, NH – On Saturday, October 24, the Manchester City Clerk’s Office, located at City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza, will be open extended hours from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for ‘Voting Saturday.’ Residents will be able to come in to register to vote, request an absentee ballot or vote absentee in person.
The last day to register to vote at the City Clerk’s office is Wednesday, October 28. However, eligible voters are able to register to vote on Election Day, November 3 at their polling location. Visit the City of Manchester website for more information on how to vote during COVID-19, and where to find your polling location.
MANCHESTER, NH – Today, Mayor Craig announces she is hosting a virtual town hall on Thursday, October 8th at 3:30 pm. The town hall will broadcast live on Facebook and Manchester Public Television Channel 22.
Mayor Craig will be joined by a representative from the Health Department to discuss the current state of COVID-19 here in Manchester. All questions are welcome. Anyone wishing to submit questions in advance can email them to: Mayor@manchesternh.gov.
2020 event will also include Downtown Trick-or-Treat
MANCHESTER, NH -- Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced the third annual ‘Halloween at City Hall,’ scheduled for Friday, October 30, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This year’s event will also include ‘Downtown Trick-or-Treat,’ with trick-or-treaters encouraged to visit downtown participating businesses for a Halloween treat.
For two hours, students, parents, and children are invited to come downtown and get a free book from the Bookmobile, meet Mayor Craig and grab Halloween treats from participating downtown businesses.
“While Halloween looks a little different this year, I’m excited to offer a fun, new and safe way for kids to trick-or-treat downtown this year,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Plus, with the addition of Downtown Trick-or-Treat, we’re encouraging families to walk around, shop and take advantage of extended outdoor dining options.”
Halloween at City Hall will take place outside in City Hall Plaza. All participants are asked to adhere to social distancing, and to wear a mask. This event is subject to change, based on rates of COVID-19 in Manchester in late October.
Trick-or-Treating is scheduled in the City of Manchester for Saturday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Today, the City of Manchester is announcing Trick-or-Treating is currently planned for Saturday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, city officials are reminding residents to take precautions if they choose to participate in Halloween festivities.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when trick-or-treating or when handing out treats
- Avoid confined spaces and large gatherings or parties
- Find ways to trick-or-treat while staying at least 6 feet away from others, including when handing out and accepting treats.
- Clean hands frequently
- Stay home if you are not feeling well, or if you have been in close contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or who has symptoms of COVID-19.
As a reminder, participating in trick-or-treating is completely optional. The City of Manchester is encouraging individuals to find safe ways to celebrate Halloween and hand out treats. Those who are at greatest risk of severe illness are encouraged to avoid high risk activities.
For more information on safe ways to celebrate Halloween, review recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the State of New Hampshire. These outlined recommendations are subject to change, based on rates of COVID-19 in Manchester in late October.
If you would like a COVID-19 test, please call the City’s Hotline at 603-668-1547 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday to make an appointment. Free testing is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on all aspects of our community and economy. We've had to completely redesign the way that we do almost everything. I know that this is a difficult time to own and operate a small business, and the City wants to do everything we can to support you at the local level. I'll be sending out updates to help inform you about changes in State Guidelines and opportunities that the City is offering to help you during these challenging times.
Here are a few updates & opportunities:
Yesterday, Governor Sununu rolled out new restaurant guidelines that will help some local restaurants:
1. Plexiglass Barriers: As the colder weather draws near, the state will allow restaurants to use plexiglass barriers between tables and booths so they can be positioned closer than 6 feet, which will enable restaurants to increase inside dining capacity.
2. Tent Sides: Restaurants are now permitted to add sides to their tents for outdoor dining.
You can find all the state's business reopening guidelines here.
Additionally, on September 17th the State Reopening Taskforce amended their recommendations to allow restaurants to resume indoor entertainment and music, as long as social distancing is maintained. This recommendation must still be approved by Governor Sununu.
Here are a few opportunities from the City of Manchester that small businesses can take advantage of:
1. Extended Outdoor Dining Timeline: After hearing from many of you about the benefits of expanded outdoor dining in parking spaces and parking lots, we have extended the use of these spaces to Sunday, November 1st.
2. Manchester Small Business Recovery Loan: The City has created a $1,000,000 Small Business Recovery Loan program in conjunction with Manchester Development Commission (MDC). These loans can be up to $25,000 and can be used toward expenses such as working capital, payroll, workforce recruitment, and inventory. You can find the application here
3. Manchester Small Business Resiliency Grant Program: Beginning next week, this program will provide eligible small businesses with grants up to $5,000 to provide relief from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility criteria include having a physical establishment in Manchester, employing no more than 15 full-time equivalent employees, having less than $2,000,000 in gross annual revenue, documenting a loss of revenue due to COVID-19, and meeting HUD criteria for employing at least one low to moderate income individual. I will pass along the application as soon as it is finalized.
We've heard that the Governor is considering another round of Main Street Relief Funds. We are advocating for this, but would love to provide feedback from Manchester small businesses as he is making decisions on where to direct these funds. If you benefited from Main Street Relief Funds, please let me know what you were able to use these funds for, what went well, and what you think could be improved upon.
If there are others who you think might benefit from this communication, please respond with their email address. I'm also interested in getting your feedback and ideas, so please don't hesitate to reach out with questions, suggestions or comments. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and (603) 624-6500. We're all in this together.
Today, Mayor Craig and AmeriCorps announced a community service event, Manchester Clean-Up Day, taking place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 22.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents across the city to give back,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Amid COVID-19, more people are spending time outdoors and taking advantage of our parks. This clean-up day will work to make our green spaces and neighborhoods cleaner and more welcoming for residents and visitors.”
In order to address the greater volume of aid requests since the COVID-19 pandemic began, AmeriCorps formed a response team called the “NH COVID Community Care Corps (NHCCCC)”. For the past six weeks, NHCCCC members have directly supported city administrative offices, public health centers, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to countless citizen inquiries and grievances received at these sites, there has also been a significant number of citizens seeking opportunities to volunteer.
In coordination with the Parks & Recreation Division and Manchester Mayor’s Office, NHCCCC AmeriCorps members will be stationed across parks in Manchester with a supply of trash bags, masks and plastic gloves for all volunteers. The sites AmeriCorps will be stationed at with these supplies are:
Livingston Park (156 Hooksett Rd, Manchester, NH 03104)
Rock Rimmon Park (264 Mason St, Manchester, NH 03102)
Sheridan Emmett Park (324 Beech St, Manchester, NH 03103)
Sheehan-Basquil Park (297 Maple St, Manchester, NH 03103)
ManchesterNH.gov refresh based on traffic analytics and simplified site structure
Manchester, N.H. -- Today, the City of Manchester announced it will soon launch a new version of ManchesterNH.gov, the City’s official website. The new website will go live on July 20, 2020, but residents can view the updated site now at test.manchesternh.gov.
“The website refresh demonstrates the City of Manchester’s ongoing commitment to make it easier for residents to find information, engage with online services and learn what is happening across our city,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “This new website helps to increase accessibility, offers a clean layout and improves upon our pre-existing search functionality -- creating a better way for the public to access digital services.”
The website has simplified the home page, and uses a data-driven approach to offer easier access to the most-visited pages. In addition, the entire site is fully responsive, making it easier for residents to access information on a smartphone or tablet.
“The goal of this redesign is to help users find information quickly and efficiently and to make navigating the site more intuitive,” added Greg Duval, Web Services Administrator, Information Systems.
Residents who wish to view the updated website before it goes live can visit test.manchesternh.gov prior to July 20. Any questions or feedback can be emailed to email@example.com.
Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced the City of Manchester applied for and received a $20,000 grant from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation to institute a Diversity and Cultural Competency Program for representatives from all city departments.
“Our City employees serve one of the most diverse communities in the state, and it is critical that all our staff is equipped with the tools to assist individuals of all backgrounds,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “This program will create a network of city employees able to design and deliver quality cultural competency programs for all city staff. I want to thank the Bean Foundation for making this possible.”
“The Bean Foundation is committed to cultural diversity and equity and considers this to be a valuable investment in the City of Manchester and its citizens,” added Maria Mongan, Board Chair of the Bean Foundation.
This training was originally suggested by the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Council, which serves as a link between city government and the Manchester community to enhance engagement, strengthen relationships, and ensure all residents feel welcomed, respected, and accepted. The Council was formally announced at the Mayor’s State of the City Address earlier this year.
“This is a really important step in the right direction from the Mayor's office and the City of Manchester. I am very excited to see that the Council is already making an impact and bringing the positive changes we need to see happening in our city,” said Arnold Mikolo, the Chair of the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Council.
The cultural competency training is facilitated by New Hampshire Health and Equity Partnership and the Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center.
MANCHESTER, NH - Ahead of the June 15th expiration of the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order, Mayor Joyce Craig and the Manchester Health Department have announced a timeline for the re-opening of city buildings and in-person city services.
Masks will be required for all public-facing employees and highly recommended for all members of the public entering city buildings. To better protect employees and citizens, the City of Manchester has installed barriers, where social distancing is not possible in all public-facing departments, will increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitation of common surfaces, and will have masks and hand sanitizer available for use, for visitors of City Hall and other city buildings.
While city departments are beginning to offer in-person services, it is still strongly encouraged for residents to complete as many services online or by appointment as possible, and limit the number of individuals entering city buildings to only those needed to complete the service.
To that end, starting next week, online processing fees will be waived for all online services, including services offered by the Tax Collector and City Clerk’s Offices, and additional accommodations will be made for individuals who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the immunocompromised or elderly.
In addition to reopening city buildings for in-person services, the Parks and Recreation Department also announced the reopening of playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer mini-pitches and the Derryfield Fit Lot by Friday, June 19.
The timeline for re-opening of city buildings is as follows:
Opening for in-person services on MONDAY, JUNE 15th (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm):
- Department of Public Works (475 Valley St)
- Environmental Protection Division (300 Winston St)
- Info Systems (100 Merrimack St)
- Office of Youth Services (1528 Elm St)
- Water Works (281 Lincoln St)
- Welfare (1528 Elm St)
Opening for curbside service on MONDAY, JUNE 22nd (Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm):
- Manchester City Library (405 Pine St)
Opening for in-person services on MONDAY, JUNE 22nd (Hours TBD):
- Assessor’s Office (City Hall)
- City Clerk (City Hall)
- City Solicitor (City Hall)
- Finance Department (City Hall)
- Human Resources (City Hall)
- Mayor's Office (City Hall)
- Parking (City Hall)
- Planning and Community Development (City Hall)
- Tax Collector’s Office (City Hall)