City council moving ahead on homeless issues - - Columbia, South Carolina |

City council moving ahead on homeless issues

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It was a city council work session that lived up to its name. Members pushing through detailed talks on everything from IT upgrades to gang activity in the Midlands. Also on tap was how to move ahead on one of the Capital City's most persistent problems: What to do about homelessness.

Council members took cautious steps toward creating a new position -- homeless coordinator. While there has been some resistance to the idea from service providers, Councilman Cameron Runyan said the concept is sound.

Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine said it should be a paid job, which is something Runyan opposes.

The council directed staff to lay out a more specific description.

Mayor Steve Benjamin said the city should solicit input from the Central Midlands Council of Governments, Lexington County, and others in what is supposed to be a regional effort to attack the homeless problem.

The council then voted to extend its contract with Christ Central Ministries for operation of the city's emergency homeless shelter until at least early July.

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