Case #2285.4

Tackling Homelessness and Addiction: Coalition-Building in Manchester, New Hampshire Practitioner Guide

Publication Date: May 28, 2024
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This practitioner guide accompanies HKS Case 2285.0. Elected at the height of the opioid epidemic, Mayor Joyce Craig came to represent the city of Manchester, New Hampshire as it grappled with the dual tragedies of substance use disorders and chronic homelessness. An idealist in a state that valued personal responsibility and financial restraint, Craig had successfully expanded her city’s services to those seeking treatment for opioid use disorder and shelter. But these were hard-fought victories at every stage, and there was still work to be done. With just a few months remaining in her first two-year term, the mayor found herself on the eve of another difficult negotiation. She had recently established a diverse Taskforce on Homelessness and set her sights on permanently solving Manchester’s homelessness and opioid crises. Next, Craig had to convince her counterparts at the state and local level to dedicate equitable funding to solving these intractable, moral challenges. By examining Craig’s leadership style, her policy agenda, and the stakeholders she needed to engage, this Guide prompts participants to (1) discuss the varying sources of power a city leader can leverage, (2) analyze the team’s approach and methodology in pursuing additional resources, and (3) apply these concepts to the conditions under which similar policy agendas become achievable or unachievable.

Note: A slide deck downloads with the case.

Learning Objectives:
This case will help students and city leaders:

  • analyze the complexity of a two-level game between state and local stakeholders with different sources of power;
  • evaluate a two-level game between state and local stakeholders with different sources of power;
  • evaluate barriers and opportunities in a two-level game and understand how negotiators can leverage formal and informal sources of power to build coalitions and momentum.

This case can also be taught with a collaboration focus, helping students and leaders:

  • recognize the principles of “teaming to innovate;”
  • define conditions for diverse teams to make progress on complex problems;
  • explore the concepts of “execution as learning” and “finding entry points.”


Other Details

Case Authors:
Brian Mandell, Jorrit de Jong, Guhan Subramanian, Brady Roberts, Elizabeth Patton, Monica Giannone
Faculty Leads:
Brian Mandell, Jorrit de Jong, Guhan Subramanian
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Manchester, New Hampshire
Funding Source:
Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative