City of Columbia receives 2020 Municipal Achievement Award

The City of Columbia has received a 2020 Achievement Award from the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC). MASC Achievement Awards honor innovation and excellence in local government projects and services.

For the 2020 Achievement Awards, the City of Columbia won in the Public Safety Category for the City’s Homeless Court.

Services provided through the Homeless Court are based on a person’s particular needs and can remove barriers to employment and housing.

Participants in Homeless Court who voluntarily receive treatment and access to partnering rehabilitation programs can have their funds dismissed and sometimes have their charges dismissed.

“Our commitment to caring for the health and progress of Columbia means caring for the well-being of every citizen, across all socio-economic levels, especially those living in the most difficult and dangerous situations,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “The Columbia Homeless Court is an innovative and compassionate solution that has shown measurable results in helping a vulnerable population segment move toward more stable living situations. The City of Columbia thanks the Municipal Association of South Carolina for its recognition of the program’s success through the 2020 Public Safety Achievement Award. By partnering with the Columbia Police Department, Fifth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Richland County Public Defender’s Office, nonprofit service providers, a local law firm and the SC Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the Columbia Homeless Court has implemented a program which now serves as a model in use by other SC communities and across the country.”

“I am truly proud of the work being done by our city staff that is having a life-changing impact on those in our community who need it the most,” said City Manager Teresa Wilson. “The progressive and groundbreaking work of the City’s Homeless Court could not be possible without our community partners. We are excited and grateful for this award and we look forward to continuing our efforts to support this program.”

For more information, see the attached document and visit https://vimeo.com/432622515 to view a video announcement about the 2020 Municipal Achievement Award and the City of Columbia’s Homeless Court.