- Associated Press
Saturday, November 21, 2020

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - State police in New Hampshire have dismantled a homeless camp outside a courthouse in Manchester.

WMUR-TV reports officers began breaking up the encampment on the lawn of the state Superior Courthouse Friday morning while representatives from housing and homeless agencies tried to offer camp residents alternative housing options and other services.

But Democratic Mayor Joyce Craig criticized the state’s removal process as “inhumane,” saying it would only lead to more trauma for people with nowhere else to go. She said the city would open an emergency shelter to house some of the displaced people in response.

State officials, including from the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice and Department of Safety, said they’ve been working to convince camp residents to leave since the summer.

More than 30 people departed after accepting state aid, but at least two who refused to leave were arrested and charged with criminal trespass while some others were issued summonses for illegal camping, the officials said.

Officials also installed fencing to discourage future encampments at the site.

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