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Columbia City Council to hear comprehensive homeless center update Monday night


Over the past five years, the homeless population in Columbia ranged from about 220 to 280 people. Now, some city leaders are discussing ways to hopefully decrease that population.

Columbia Housing Authority (CHA) will update Columbia City Council Monday night on its Comprehensive Homeless Center plan.

The COVID-19 pandemic shed more light on the issue of homelessness in the community, and local providers are working with the city to find a solution.

CHA has been working since February to develop the comprehensive homeless center, along with other local providers like The Voluntary Action Center, Turning Point, Room at the Inn, Loaves & Fishes and Love Columbia.

Since CHA's last meeting on July 21, the organization planned and implemented a variety of public engagement events traveled to and toured homeless facilities, identified properties for the center and more.

The plan includes an emergency center with a minimum of 75 beds operating year-round a homeless drop-in center operating year-round with restrooms showers and other services, meal services, non-congregate transitional housing, and supportive services. The plan also includes community risk reduction, emergency preparedness, public health and well-being, community policing and social services to ensure safety.

The goal is to achieve zero homelessness in the city by 2024 or 2025.

Any comments from council and city staff on the update given at tomorrow night's presentation are due by August 30. A final report will be submitted prior to September 30 of this year.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia City Government
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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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