The following Perspective is an expression of opinion by the editorial board at WIS, and presented by General Manager Donita Todd:
I can't say that I am surprised to see Columbia City Councilman Runyan's homeless plan getting off to a rough start. I thought it ill-conceived from the moment he presented it at a Columbia Rotary Club meeting. It was grand on scale and lean on detail. Subsequently, it's apparent that Councilman Runyan did not thoroughly seek input from the community service organizations that currently meet the needs of Columbia's homeless population, nor has he engaged the city and county support to effectively administer his plan.
The devil is always in the details, and without a solid strategic plan, even the best ideas will fail. Columbia has long been plagued by the problem of a large homeless population, but city government has never seemed proactive or even willing to support ideas to address it. Runyan's plan seems crafted to address the concerns of economic development in the city and the thorny issues our homeless people present to that business growth. Instead of attempting to thrust this sketchy plan on the City of Columbia and Richland County, why doesn't the council throw its assistance behind the Transitions Center, Oliver Gospel Mission and other established services that could use the financial and moral support.
That's my perspective. Let me know what you think.
Write to Perspective at P.O. Box 367, Columbia, SC 29202, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.