Hundreds race to help Columbia’s homeless families

Allen Wallace photos.

A chilly, misty Saturday morning may have made some people want to stay in bed, but more than 250 got up and out early to help make sure families in need have warm places to stay.

The annual Race For The Place 5K & Fun Run is a fundraiser for Homeless No More, the organization which includes Columbia’s Family Shelter, St. Lawrence Place and Live Oak Place. As Homeless No More Board President Mike Miller explained, the different branches share one mission.

“Thank you to all 250 runners for coming out this morning to support our mission of serving homeless families and children through three different programs providing emergency housing, affordable housing and traditional housing,” Miller said.

Research proves that family homelessness is in most cases a temporary condition: families who receive help once rarely need help again. However, federal and state funding goes primarily to chronically homeless people, letting families slip through the cracks. Homeless No More exists to seal those cracks.

In Saturday’s race, 17-year-old Alan Deogracias took first place, completing the 5k in 16:09. Erin Miller ran the course off Devine Street in 19:20 to finish first in the women’s division.

More information on Homeless No more is available at

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