Chamber Endorses Councilman Runyan’s Six Goals to Address Homelessness

The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Monday announced its support for Councilman Cameron Runyan’s six goals to address homelessness in the City of Columbia. The goals stem from his full plan, Columbia Cares: A Vision for Addressing Homelessness, which provides both short term and long term solutions to addressing Columbia’s homeless issue.

Columbia Cares is a comprehensive plan to help our homeless population while improving our downtown business environment. There is currently a high concentration of homelessness in the City of Columbia, with the most heavily concentrated areas being in the downtown district. As a result, the growth of economic development is being hindered, and business owners are beginning to look elsewhere to set up shop.

“The City of Columbia has made significant progress in addressing our homeless population with the opening of Transitions,” said Ike McLeese, President & CEO of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. “But there is still more work to be done. Through these six initiatives and the work of local officials and community and business leaders, we can service those in need and continue to grow and expand commerce in our downtown community.”

The Chamber’s announcement comes after calls by Councilman Cameron Runyan for City Council to vote on the proposal at their meeting on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

“While we endorse these six goals presented by Councilman Runyan, we understand to achieve these objectives we must first bring together providers, business leaders and elected officials to develop a compressive plan,” said Lee Bussell, chair of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. “The Columbia Chamber has offered its services to facilitate this important discussion and help move our community forward.”

Columbia Cares: A Vision for Addressing Homelessness, is a six point plan for approaching downtown Columbia’s homeless issues. Most importantly, this is a compassionate plan that treats our city’s homeless with respect and gives them the assistance they need to improve their lives, with a foundation of accountability.

To review Councilman Ruyan’s full plan, click here.

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