Remove Manchester homeless camps?

Jun 04, 2018

This month, the city of Manchester and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation evicted the residents of homeless camps along the Merrimack River. The inhabitants say it is public property and they have a right to be there. Others say the homeless camps are unsightly and that residents, when drunk, will cross the highway causing danger to themselves and others.

Read more about issues related to homelessness in New Hampshire

“Do you agree with Manchester’s decision to remove homeless camps from along the Merrimack River?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page May 22, 2018

200 citizens responded97 citizens were opposed to removing homeless camps49 citizens were in favor of removing homeless camps54 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

No: 97 citizens were opposed to removing Manchester homeless camps.

  • “Kicking them out with no plan in place to house them or help them find other accommodations is ridiculous. Where do you expect them to go?”
  • “If they're not doing any harm then let them be for crying out loud! One miserable person complains and you treat them like this!”
  • “Leave them alone, unless you have a plan in place to actually help them. They are not on private property so they are not trespassing.”

Yes: 49 citizens were in favor of removing Manchester homeless camps.

  • “Homeless ‘camps’ are hotbeds of criminal activity, filthy conditions, and drag the surrounding areas down.”
  • “The density of these individuals has become too problematic for the community and residents don't deserve to suffer the effects. Best to nip this in the bud in light of what we've seen developing in places like California and Hawaii.”
  • “I've been homeless twice, and recently.   Tear the camps down, they actually hinder and enable the situation.  Do it for them as well as the town.”

Other: 54 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included questions:

  • Causes of homelessness: “This is exactly what happens when incomes are low and rents are high. Almost everybody commenting on this thread is more than likely a paycheck away from being homeless.”
  • Alternative solutions: “Make it into a tiny home village that if they want to be there, they have to maintain up keep and pay a fee for municipal services.”
  • Logistics: “Where are they supposed to go? Are the Manchester Town Offices providing shelter, an alternative location, anything?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology


William Burns
- Rochester

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 8:11am

They should be remove . The parks are for families , not for people that do not pay taxes , do not work
are a strain on the welfare system . The are for the most part drug addicted and/or drunks .
People think that they have the right camp out and keep normal people from using the park . They can
take them into their own homes .

Jackie Benson
- Kensington

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 8:48am

Removing these camps without providing safe, viable options for the people who live there is irresponsible. I hope the city of Manchester is doing more for the homeless than simply "cleaning them up".

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