The Transitions facility on Main Street in downtown Columbia has been in place since 2011. It was established to help assist and direct homeless residents of the Midlands.
The building was re-structured to accommodate the organization after originally being created as a Comfort Inn. The facility has 260 beds, and allows people to stay for just one day, or a period of months, with the intention of helping clients better themselves for the future.
Community Outreach and Event Coordinator Cathy Cobbs said there have been about 2000 people Transitions has assisted with moving into permanent housing. The clients are not required to be on a time frame, however, they must show progress towards bettering themselves if they are a long-term resident.
“If you decide you’re going to stay, we have certain expectations for what you’re going to do to get better,” said Cobbs. There are eight hours of classes residents must participate in during the week. Classes include options like yoga, pottery, chapel, computer literacy, and economic stability. “What we want to do is get you a job, get you permanently housed, off the streets, and in a situation where you don’t have to come back here again,” said Cobbs.
Cobbs has been working at Transitions since September, and said she can relate to the way some of the clients feel. “We lost our house in the flood of 2015, and so we were put in the same kind of chaos that these people are in,” she said. “In essence, we were homeless, and yes we made it back successfully, but to see and feel the things these people who walk through our doors are feeling, is what made me want to change careers.” The tragedy of losing her house made her want to change her career to something that felt more meaningful to her. “When I see the people who come in here, it’s like I see myself back at that time, just not knowing what the next step is,” said Cobbs. She said Transitions allows their clients to remember their purpose and value in life.
The facility will soon be holding A Chef’s Feast, one of their largest fundraising events. The dinner is Sunday May 6, and will include five courses prepared by nationally acclaimed chefs. Additional information about Transitions, and the fundraiser, can be found at www.transitionsSC.org
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