74
      Saturday
      85 / 70
      Sunday
      84 / 70
      Monday
      88 / 69

      Efforts to feed the homeless transitioning in Columbia

      One of Columbia's popular kitchens that offers free evening meals has closed.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Feeding the homeless just got tougher in the Capital City.

      One of Columbia's popular kitchens that offers free evening meals has closed.

      Many in need are now forced to look somewhere else for dinner.

      For the last three years, the Salvation Army served dinner to more than 100 people daily at Ebenezer Lutheran Church. That service stopped last week.

      The Salvation Army has moved all of its feeding services to Transitions.

      For nearly one year, the two agencies have partnered to feed the homeless.

      "You've hit on a problem there," said Craig Currey, CEO of Transistions. "There's no guarantee that some of the people that eat at Ebenezer will all come down and want to come into Transitions."

      Currey says Transitions' goal is to get people into permanent housing through programs and outreach. His agency serves three meals a day to those in the program with help from the Salvation Army.

      "We haven't seen an increase because they just stopped on Monday of this week, so it hasn't been long enough to really see a trend yet," said Currey.

      Major Roger Coulson with the Salvation Army says after three years at the church, it was clear that just feeding folks was not helping make positive changes in their lives.

      "The more we can connect volunteers with individuals we're serving and build those relationships, the more we know we can impact people in a positive way," said Currey.

      Transitions, the Salvation Army and city leaders plan to meet April 9 to discuss ways to help feed the city's homeless.

      WACH reached out to the city for their thoughts on this issue, but we have not heard back.