Homeless drop-in center abandons its original location
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Alliance to Combat Homelessness, or CATCH, is looking for a new location for homeless drop-in center because of neighbors’ opposition. A group of opponents from the immediate neighborhood live at North 8th Street, where was the original location that CATCH is planning to build the homeless drop-in center, showed their concerns about homeless residents’ issues.
The City spent around $80,000 to purchase a lot on North 8th Street for the homeless drop-in center in April 2014 to support this program.
Dan Cullimore, president of North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association, thinks CATCH doesn’t communicate well with his neighborhood on the plan.
“I think they’ve been kind of insular. They were working on this proposal at least a year, and they never bother to contact the neighborhood.” Cullimore said.
Cullimore express his fear of increased transients and the problems go along with that like drug and alcohol abuse and inappropriate sexual behaviors.
“The residents in those blocks have all seen a number of increased things - people passed out in their yards on their porches; people doing vandalisms and thefts.” Cullimore said.
CATCH member Tim Carson said they found out the resistant from the neighbors is in greater scale than what they’ve been told early at the meeting two weeks ago.
“We’re slowing down to look at our options.” Carson said.
Carson said there's is no deadline for this project, and they will not turn in a new proposal to the city until they find a new location. CATCH is currently targeting new locations like empty lots and vacant buildings, which have larger space than the original location at 8th Street. Carson said CATCH will add more services and facilities for the new location, and they will divide the space for men, women and families.