City explores measures to combat homelessness - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

City explores measures to combat homelessness

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The City of Columbia is taking a chance to find another way to ensure homeless individuals get a meal.

Ebenezer Lutheran Church and Salvation Army decided not to continue an agreement to fund meals for those in need. Their contract ended March 31.

Now, City Council is exploring options to make sure the city combats homelessness.

After a four-hour work session – including an hour for executive session – Mayor Steve Benjamin said council heard from area organizations about various services currently offered and ways to better serve homeless individuals.

"Today was very positive," Benjamin said. "Criticism was constructive. They all gave reports on what they've done; how to move forward; and input on how to work together to get things started."

Because the work session was overlapping with the scheduled council meeting, Benjamin said council will pick up its discussion to talk more about providing meals during the April 16 work session.

"We have to start working on a larger game plan," he explained. "We have to try to articulate our visual for what we can do to deal with homelessness and change people's lives."

Benjamin said despite the contract ending with Ebenezer Lutheran Church and Salvation Army, the city said other transitions, like Christ Central Ministries and Oliver Gospel Mission, help homeless people.

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