MANCHESTER — Mayor Joyce Craig released a “public letter to the community” on Thursday, spelling out measures taken to protect the homeless from COVID-19, including a city-sanctioned camp for the homeless.
Earlier this week officials provided portable toilets, sinks and started meal deliveries at a homeless camp on Canal Street, located under the Amoskeag Bridge. Workers started clearing an area along the Granite Street bridge, too.
Craig pointed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that encouraged officials to not clear housing camps. She stressed the camps are temporary.
“This is a difficult situation for everyone, but our goal has been, and always will be, to ensure the health and safety of our community,” Craig wrote.
She also said the Queen City does not have the resources to “shoulder the burden of New Hampshire’s homeless issues alone.”
“It’s important for other communities to invest in services and establish partnerships to assist individuals experiencing homelessness, instead of sending people to our city,” Craig said in the letter. “As a community, and as a state, we have a shared responsibility to help our most vulnerable residents.”
She said the New Horizons homeless shelter has stopped accepting new people after receiving guidance from the city Health Department.
The New Hampshire National Guard has helped to set up temporary shelters at the former St. Casimir School and Angie’s Place.
Also signing the letter were Health Director Anna Thomas, Fire Chief Dan Goonan and Police Chief Carlo Capano.