The City of Columbia announced the launch of Rapid Shelter Columbia — the first transitional housing project + development of its kind in the Southeast back in September.
This city project, now almost complete, has had a 70-day turnaround from its initial announcement to becoming operable on Nov. 1. The City of Columbia gave updates about the project + we’re giving you the highlights.
- The former Inclement Weather Center located at 191 Calhoun St. is being flipped into temporary housing units.
- 50 new single-unit Pallet sleeping cabins are currently being constructed alongside the already existing sleeping quarters, which will still be used for overflow.
- The project will cost ~$800,000, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act + allocated funds to manage the existing facility.
- Those living in the temporary housing pallets will have access to local professionals who plan to help individuals find permanent housing.
- The new shelter will have 24-hour security (with 29 cameras installed around the property) and the city is hiring several staff members to manage the new site.
- It will be an adult facility for ages 18+ within city limits.
- There will be 54 pallet shelters in total.
- 50 of the pallets are 64 sqft units which will house one person each.
- Four units are 100 sqft and will be used for security, city staff, and operations.
- Each unit has air conditioning, heating, a fire extinguisher, outlets, and one bed.
Short term goals
There are ~250 people within city limits who are chronically unsheltered. Cola wants to use Rapid Shelter Columbia as a stepping stone in creating a hub where people have access to effective resources + services.
Long term goals
Columbia is one of the only places that provides low-barrier shelters (like Transitions Homeless Center), serving ~19 counties.
It’s looking for regional + state cooperation to provide well-supported services, including mental health resources that stay open after 5 p.m.