Government and Community Services
The Department of Government and Community Services was created to:
- Facilitate improved community outreach
- Administration of government services
- Resolution of community issues
To improve the quality of life for Richland County constituents through outreach, mediation, advocacy, strategic programming, and education.
Creating community, improving lives, and moving to excellence.
- Develop productive relationships with community partners throughout the County.
- Engage and involve the public in policies and practices that directly impact communities.
- Measure impact of initiatives through surveys, reports, and involvement.
- Effectively communicate accurate and essential information to all audiences in conjunction with the Public Information Office and other County departments.
- Serve as an outlet between the County and its constituents, customers, and partners.
- Help satisfy unresolved issues and work to continuously improve public involvement in the government process.
- Elected officials and local municipalities
- Individual voters
- Residential communities and homeowner associations (HOAs)
- Business community
- Higher education
- Other county organizations (K-12 schools, churches, millage and ordinance agencies, etc.)
Questions change everything in community engagement
Max Hardy - TED Talk (Click HERE to watch the TED Talk)
GCS/COVID 19 Resources
Councilman Pugh Testing & Facemask Giveaway
GCS Neighborhood Survey (PDF)
GCS Neighborhood Survey (WORD)
Featured Organization of the Month:
Government and Community Services in a proactive outreach arm of the County. GCS focuses on facilitating improved community outreach, administration of government services, and the resolution of community issues. GCS recognizes an “Organization of the Month” that exemplifies the importance of supporting the community and assisting in getting resources to those most in need.
GCS recognizes the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina for the month of March. Even though Sisters of Charity is a state-wide organization, they provide vital support to Richland County communities. The Sisters of Charity Foundation is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Since 1996, the Foundation has focused on addressing the root causes and impacts of poverty in South Carolina. Sisters of Charity use their resources in collaborating with others within the philanthropic sector to reduce poverty through action, advocacy and leadership.
The recent South Carolina Poverty Study completed by Sisters of Charity was conducted by partnering with the Rural & Minority Health Research Center at the University of South Carolina. The findings reveal that structural barriers are continuing systemic poverty in the state. Furthermore, the data indicates a person’s racial or ethnic identity, gender, and where they are born present significant barriers to economic self-sufficiency.
Research findings include that South Carolina ranks higher than the national average in:
• The number of people living in poverty
• Eviction rates (Columbia is in the Top 10 for highest evictions in the US)
• The amount of money families spend on housing and transportation costs.
Also, South Carolina ranks lower than the national average when it comes to…
• The number of people who have health insurance
• The amount of money spent per student on education
• The number of female and/or minority-led businesses
For more information, review the recent news reports on the study as well as a link below to view the full study, including a webinar where the findings were presented to the public:
News stories: https://www.counton2.com/news/latest-news/local-charity-working-to-end-poverty-in-south-carolina/?fbclid=IwAR2pVIA1a1MugNaAx0ljAYCQHndqo4XBEidBzMhYg0fR_L9Oe3Qomlpquww and https://www.postandcourier.com/features/poverty-by-design-study-by-sc-nonprofit-examines-disparities-in-palmetto-state/article_4f47a932-60c2-11eb-aa93-03f571ec534c.html
Sisters of Charity is hopeful this research will lead to needed change in communities across the state. One of the strategies moving forward is to build a strong network of people with lived experiences to share their stories and experiences. Sisters of Charity will continue to advocate for policies that address poverty.
GCS wants residents in Richland County with a story to share to join this movement towards a more equitable South Carolina. If you have a story or issues that you would like to share, please reach out to Chynna Phillips email@example.com or Kimberly Humphrey at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please contact us with questions or comments.
To view Richland County GIS Mapping (Click Here)