Columbia City Council will hear a full update from the homeless center on Monday night

COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)

Over the past five years, the homeless population in Colombia has ranged from approximately 220 to 280 people. Now some city leaders are discussing ways to hopefully reduce that population.

Columbia Housing Authority (CHA) will notify Columbia City Council on Monday evening of its comprehensive homeless center plan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the issue of homelessness into the community into focus, and local providers are working with the city to find a solution.

CHA has been working since February to develop the comprehensive homeless center, along with other local providers like The Voluntary Action Center, Turning Point, Room at the Inn, Loaves & Fishes and Love Columbia.

Since the last ACH meeting on July 21, the organization has planned and implemented a variety of public engagement events. She has traveled and visited homeless facilities, identified properties for the center and more.

The plan includes an emergency center with a minimum of 75 beds operating year-round, a homeless shelter operating year-round with toilets, showers and other services, meal services , non-collective transitional housing and support services. The plan also includes community risk reduction, emergency preparedness, public health and welfare, community policing and social services to ensure safety.

The goal is to achieve zero homelessness in the city by 2024 or 2025.

All comments from council and city staff on the update given at tomorrow night’s presentation are due no later than August 30. A final report will be submitted by September 30 this year.

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