The city of Manchester plans on hiring someone to direct the city’s homelessness initiatives.
Earlier this week, the Board of Aldermen approved using $200,000 from CARES Act funding to create the position. That money will cover salary and benefits for about two years.
Mayor Joyce Craig says she and the board noticed other similarly sized cities across the country have departments that focus on homelessness. Hiring someone to direct Manchester’s efforts is a start, she said.
“They will help strengthen the collaboration, coordination and communication between a number of entities, so our service providers, city department, New Hampshire DHHS, our non-profits, faith-based organizations in the city, as well as our residents and businesses.”
The new hire would work in the city’s emergency operation center, which falls under the fire department.
In an interview Friday, Craig said after these federal funds run out, she would like to find other outside funding to continue the position.
“In the future, I think there’s an opportunity where this position will actually move out of the fire department, and conserve more of a human services, economic mobility type of a position,” Craig said. “They could focus on housing, mental health. Really lifting people up, and working with the community to lift our people up.”
In the past several weeks, the city has worked with Families in Transition-New Horizons to increase its emergency shelter beds to 200, and the fire department continues to do outreach to people experiencing homelessness on a daily basis.