City Council discusses plan for homeless - - Columbia, South Carolina

City Council discusses plan for homeless


Columbia City Council is one step closer to having a plan for helping the city's homeless get the services they need when the City Winter Shelter closes in April.

City Councilman Cameron Runyan gave City Manager Teresa Wilson an update on his plan to deal with the homeless at the City Council Work Session Tuesday afternoon. 

Runyan presented his draft of a Request for Information asking for suggestions and ideas from agencies who help the homeless.  Runyan said his committee has identified 15 challenges or issues in dealing with the homeless, including a lack of services for the mentally ill or sex offenders.

"This is the opportunity for those who want to participate to come to the table to work with us," said Runyan."No one person or group has a market on the ideas.  If you have an idea, it's time to bring it.  It's time to move it forward and there's room for everyone at the table."

According to the proposal approved at the work session Tuesday, people and agencies who have ideas to share must submit them in writing by February 7. A question and answer period is planned for January 8-22.

Once those issues are addressed and solutions are found, Ruynan said he will put out an RFP, or Request for Proposals.

About two dozen interested parties and homeless advocates attended the meeting.

"We don't have the financial capacity to provide for the homeless indefinitely," said Runyan.  "But we can lead in our role to play in the long term.  My goal is not to expand homeless services.  My goal is to leg us out."

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