The Soapbox: Dear State of NH – address the tent city on your courthouse property and fix this broken system

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O P I N I O N

THE SOAPBOX

Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.


Dear State of New Hampshire, the Hillsborough County Court (which is state-owned property) is causing an economic and humane ripple-effect that needs to be acknowledged and addressed now. Please send help!

I am a landlady who has spent 10 years (what feels like a lifetime) running a family-owned business in the city of Manchester. Sadly, for the first time in 10 years, I’m feeling like this city and the state are suffering. The covid pandemic has wreaked havoc on all of our lives and businesses, creating an economic and humane ripple effect that needs to be acknowledged and addressed now.

When my father purchased a building in downtown Manchester in the early ’90s, he worked tirelessly to repair the building during most of that decade, day and night, he was the true embodiment of a workaholic. As I watched my father’s hard work pay off little by little, years later I then sadly stood next to him and cried as we watched the building burn to the ground. He was then able to pick himself back up from the ashes and rebuild a bigger and better building with his blood sweat and tears in its foundation. I joined the company to fulfill my promise that his legacy would live on and after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I am trying so hard to keep that promise, but the State of NH is making it impossible for me.

Homeless encampment on the grounds of the Hillsborough County Courthouse. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

The State of NH owns the “Hillsborough County Court” on Merrimack Street which is the home of the group I call, the REFUSE group.  This refuse group are transients (majority not from Manchester) who are refusing help and choosing to live on the street or in makeshift tent cities, due to their own mental health and drug/alcohol addiction issues. So my question as I stand on this soapbox today is…

Why hasn’t the State of NH taken action to improve the health issue, humane issue, and economic issue occurring on the “Hillsborough County Court” property?

  • Does the State of NH care that winter is on the horizon and these people need help now?
  • Does the State of NH care about the health issue on their property regarding discarded needles, public defecation, public urination, public fornication, public intoxication, public drugging, and public drug dealing?

  • Does the State of NH care about the economic issue of daily crime that is driving people out of downtown Manchester? Who is going to protect our patrons, employees, tenants, business owners and landlords as they walk by?
  • Does the State of NH care that the Manchester Police Department has no jurisdiction to remove these people? If MPD has no jurisdiction shouldn’t State Troopers monitor this property?

These issues can be debilitating for everyone in this city trying to survive. The State needs to support our City so the City can support its businesses.

Without it, people will die, businesses will go under, and Manchester will be back to where it was when I was a little girl, a nightmare on Elm Street.

Please send help now!

Sincerely,

Landlady Anonymous*


*Name withheld at author’s request. We ask that submissions are “signed” but in this instance we honored the writer’s request to remain anonymous in print due to fear of personal retaliation.


Beg to differ? Agree to disagree? Send submissions for consideration to carolrobidoux@manchesterinklink.com, subject line: The Soapbox.