Columbia, SC – Rapid Shelter Columbia, an innovative program initiated by the City of Columbia, took center stage at the South Carolina City and County Management Association (SCCCMA) Conference held at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island from January 18 – 20. City Manager Teresa Wilson, also the President of SCCCMA, showcased the groundbreaking program during the conference, which aimed to provide professional development and networking opportunities for members.
The Rapid Shelter Columbia program, led by City Manager Teresa Wilson and Director of Homeless Services Kameisha Heppard, presented a significant development in the city’s approach to addressing homelessness. The program, featuring the Pallet transitional home model, represents the first of its kind in the southeast region.
As part of the initiative, the city repurposed the site of its former Inclement Weather Center in Columbia to construct around 50 Pallet sleeping cabins. These temporary housing units are designed to offer a safe and supportive environment for individuals experiencing homelessness. Additionally, the existing congregate sleeping quarters on the property were retained to serve as overflow facilities during inclement weather nights.
The presentation at the conference highlighted the success and impact of Rapid Shelter Columbia in providing practical solutions to address homelessness, emphasizing the city’s commitment to creating positive social change and supporting vulnerable populations.