This brief uses data collected by the Manchester Health Department in 2013 and analyzed by the Carsey School of Public Policy in the Bakersville, Beech Street, and Gossler Park neighborhoods in Manchester, New Hampshire, to provide information about how barriers to various dimensions of well-being differ by place and also across race/ethnicity, foreign-born status, and age. Survey data and focus groups also gave residents a voice in the implementation of the Manchester Community Schools Project—a partnership between the Manchester Health Department, city elementary schools, philanthropists, neighborhood residents, and several nonprofit agencies—to improve and enhance educational achievement, economic well-being, access to health care services, healthy behaviors, social connectedness, safety, and living environments. A key element of this project is to make elementary schools in the Bakersville, Beech Street, and Gossler Park neighborhoods centerpieces of community life for all residents, not just those with children.

Author Justin Young reports that one-quarter of residents surveyed in 2013 in the Manchester neighborhoods of Bakersville, Beech Street, and Gossler Park say that difficulty in finding services is a major hindrance, especially to economic stability, health, and social connectedness. Focus group data suggest that the city’s foreign-born residents, especially Hispanics, have the most trouble finding and accessing services. Cost is an obstacle to accessing health care services, and older and younger focus group participants, as well as immigrants, say the cost of transportation is a barrier to accessing services. He concludes that the neighborhood in which one lives shapes a variety of outcomes related to well-being, and that a place-based approach like the community schools model can improve outcomes not only for residents of the Bakersville, Beech Street, and Gossler Park areas but for all Manchester residents.

Publication Date

Spring 5-19-2015


Regional Issue Brief No. 43

Document Type



Copyright 2015. Carsey School of Public Policy. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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