Columbia has long recognized a significant homeless problem in our city. Charitable and community organizations such as Oliver Gospel Mission and the Midlands Housing Authority are taking measures to assist and rehabilitate this population, but the recent economic downturn added a whole new dimension to the situation. Newly homeless people have joined the ranks due to job loss and home foreclosures, and many within our community are just one paycheck or one mortgage payment from becoming homeless themselves.
Recently, WIS news anchor Ben Hoover got up close and personal with this plight when he spent three days living among the homeless on the streets and at the Oliver Gospel mission. He produced several compelling stories with undercover reporting of his experiences and insight into the real human stories he encountered. These reports have generated an overwhelmingly compassionate response from our viewers, and opened many eyes, minds and hearts to the lives and struggles of their homeless neighbors. So much so, that we will air a Hope in Hard Times special on Thursday, March 1 at 7:00pm featuring these stories and more. WIS will also participate in a Hope-A-Thon for Oliver Gospel Mission to raise awareness and funds for their ministry.