The Columbia Chamber’s Leadership Columbia Class of 2023 has completed a new community center at St. Lawrence Place for their class project.
An initiative of Homeless No More, St. Lawrence Place is a transitional shelter that offers support services, life skills training and up to two years of housing for families experiencing homelessness.
This year’s class project included creating a new indoor community center equipped with desks, whiteboards, bookshelves, toys, technology and décor to inspire creativity, according to a news release.
Outside, the class built a pergola shade structure and ball rack, installed new picnic tables and a free library, laid sod and rubber mulch for the playground, and worked with local artist Ija Charles to paint a mural.
“The goal of this project is to create spaces for families to come together as they transition from homelessness to independence,” says Randi Branham a member of the Leadership Columbia class. “Our class is inspired by the work of Homeless No More to represent vulnerable families and keep them together. We hope that our project provides an extra layer of support to the families that need it most.”
Leadership Columbia is a 10-month educational program offered through the Columbia Chamber that provides emerging and existing leaders in the Midlands area with an opportunity to enhance their civic knowledge and network. For 50 years, Leadership Columbia has helped participants better understand the local community, while building relationships with the region's current and future leaders. More information is available online or by contacting Leah Kelly, director of leadership development, at (803) 733-1146.