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We all know this crisis is one of Manchester’s greatest challenges. We experience it daily; it only worsens, and it is time to stop making excuses. That means prioritizing the enforcement of ordinances and providing compassion and effective support for people in Manchester suffering from addiction and mental health problems while increasing our affordable housing stock. 

We can’t succeed if we ignore the clear and intensifying suffering of those most in need, and we won’t succeed if we tolerate disorder on the streets. Our city’s inability to wrap its arms around this crisis has harmed every aspect of our community. Our businesses are impacted, our residents don’t feel safe in parts of the city, and it severely hurts Manchester’s reputation. We also must deal with this comprehensively, we can’t simply attack it from one angle and expect to solve it. 

  • Accountability: Fully enforce all the ordinances on the books, enact new ordinances and increase penalties where appropriate. 

  • Compassion: Utilize enforcement to divert individuals into treatment, and connect them with wraparound services that already exist in the city in order to break this cycle. More engagement and better coordination with local entities already engaged in this work:  

    • We must address the underlying causes of this crisis, specifically, addiction and mental Health:

      • Build better systems at maximum points of vulnerability, for those in our city and in crisis, like our hospitals, while an individual is incarcerated, and we must go upstream to implement prevention in schools. We must break the cycle we are currently in. 

Housing: Cut the red tape, eliminate regulatory burdens and streamline the permitting process to invite more affordable and workforce development housing within the city while not harming the character of our neighborhoods.

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