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Columbia looks to buy a temporary shelter for the homeless


The City of Columbia is looking to work with others and build a permanent opportunity campus to house unsheltered people but for now, the city's talking about buying a temporary shelter.

The temporary shelter would be located on the 1500 block of Ashley Street and is expected to cost around $865,000 according to the city.

City spokesperson Sydney Olsen said the city is expecting a contract to come back this week and a possible purchase will go to the council the next week. 

"We recognize that we have an immediate need, we also recognize that Wabash is not the optical location for individuals to be staying due to its size and other things," Olsen said. "So this is the first step in getting resources they need for this winter."

There's currently no location homeless people can consistently rely on when colder weather hits. That's why Debby Graham -- the board president for Room at the Inn -- said having a permanent facility will bring relief to its organization. 

Every year, Room at the Inn relies on churches to give shelter during cold weather.

The city stated it could take one-to-three years to build the opportunity campus which will be used for temporary shelter, meals, and transitional housing. 

Those who are interested in providing feedback for what the temporary space could be used for after the opportunity campus is built can attend a meeting from 4-6 p.m. October 10 at VFW's post's picnic area. 

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Kennedy Miller


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