Columbia, SC — Did you receive another mailing from a charity? The holiday season always brings an upswing in letters from charities asking for money or wanting us to volunteer. Why don’t they just leave us alone?
The answer is we can’t, because we need everyone’s help. With all the concerns that have been voiced this year about homelessness in our community, I would like for you to consider this question: What are you going to do about homelessness?
There are many outstanding charities that help people who are homeless. The largest facility is in the Midlands is Transitions, a homeless recovery center located on Main Street in Columbia. Its goal is to move people from homelessness to permanent housing by providing access to services they need for real transformation in their lives.
The 255-bed facility runs at capacity with another 100 clients using our day center to get off the streets for the day. Our day counselors and case managers engage the clients on what help and services they need and refer them to partnering providers on site, so they can receive the best possible care.
Transitions is a team concept. The 25 partnering agencies that come into the center (in addition to all the faith and civic groups that come in to serve food) provide wrap-around services. Our case managers track what the clients are doing to succeed in the ultimate goal: finding permanent housing.
Transitions has placed 450 folks into permanent housing since opening in June 2011. It has placed another 1,302 clients into positive outcomes that keep them off the streets, which helps our community, businesses and people.
It’s time for you to decide: Are you going to continue to be a spectator or get in the fight? Research the many organizations that are involved in fighting homelessness. See what each does. Start helping out those folks who are homeless by volunteering, donating items or supporting agencies financially.
United Way, Midlands Area Consortium for the Homeless and the city of Columbia all have information on strategies to fight homelessness. We support them all and encourage people to get involved. This year as you enjoy Thanksgiving and the holidays, think about those in need. Are you doing your share to help those who are homeless? Come join us in the fight.