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 Community Guide
The GCS Community guide provides resources connections and contact information for housing, mental health, social services, and food services for those in need in Richland County. If you are in need a of a guide email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy!
SC 2-1-1 serves as a safety net for all individuals needing help finding assistance, by helping improve the effectiveness and coordination of health and human services across the state. The statewide program provides information about and referral to health and human service resources. The service is available 24/7, 365 days per year. It is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.
SC Legal Services
South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) provides free legal assistance in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina.
Wateree Community Action- Electric Assistance
Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services,the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides home energy assistance to help eligible low-income households meet their home heating and/or cooling needs. LIHEAP seeks to prevent households from using unsafe alternatives for providing heat and cooling. LIHEAP offers bill payment assistance and energy crisis assistance. The amount of assistance provided depends on a household's income and its energy costs.
Wateree Community Action- Water Assistance
Community Services Block Grant
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides an array of funding for local community initiatives, including assistance for program-eligible households in areas such as education, employment, emergency rental assistance, nutrition and youth leadership. Community programs are intended to encourage families toward self-sufficiency.
GCS Organization's of the Month (Archives)
February 2021- Senior Resources
March 2021 - Sisters of Charity
April 2021- Richland Library
May 2021- Columbia Housing Authority
June 2021- Homeless No More
July 2021- Harvest Hope Food Bank
August 2021 - COMET
September 2021- UWM Well Partners & Dental/Eye Clinic
October 2021- MIRCI
November 2021- Central SC Habitat for Humanity
December 2021- Historic Columbia
February 2022- Reconciliation Ministries
March 2022- SC Dept. on Aging
April 2022- Family Promise of the Midlands
May 2022- Camp Cole
June 2022- Pitch Inc
July 2022- Foodshare
September 2022- The Hive
January 2023- American Red Cross of South Carolina Chapter
Organization of the Month
Government and Community Services (GCS) is 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. This month’s organization of the month is One80 Place.
One80 Place ends and prevents homelessness.
Everyone has a home.
We are safe, respectful, resilient, equitable, and determined.
Founded in 1984, One80 Place is one of the largest providers of shelter and supportive services in South Carolina. One80 Place serves over 1,600 people (including men, women, children, and Veterans) annually that are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk of homelessness throughout 21 counties of the Lowcountry and Midland. We have a shelter and offices in Charleston, as well as a satellite office in Columbia.
One80 Place believes in Housing First. We quickly connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions or barriers to entry. This allows us to move our clients into their new homes as soon as possible. Less time spent in the shelter allows us to serve more people over the course of the year. Housing First recognizes that homelessness is a problem with a solution: housing.
One80 Place’s supportive services help clients find and maintain a home while building a foundation for self-sufficiency. These supportive services include: case management, housing counseling, Veterans services, legal services, health care, employment training and placement, and a community kitchen on-site within our shelter that serves three meals each day to clients (lunch is open to anyone in the community).
Access to One80 Place’s services is based on a coordinated entry system. Those experiencing homelessness – either sleeping unsheltered or in another place not meant for human habitation – and in need of help should call the Crisis Line at (843) 737-8357. Those at risk of homelessness should call 211 for access to rental assistance programs and legal help.
One80 Place constantly works to follow best practices in the way that we provide our services, using evidence-based strategies and our own data to inform how we move forward. We have been working to expand the prevention portion of our services and last year, One80 Place was selected as one of 21 organizations in the nation to pilot an Eviction Protection Program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The purpose of this program is to provide legal assistance at no cost to low-income renters facing eviction. Within the first three months of providing these services, One80 Place was able to help 514 people remain in their homes.
Staff during One80 Place’s Annual Turkey & a $20 event. This is the largest fundraiser we hold each year; we ask our community to come out and support us by donating turkeys, gift cards, and monetary donations to help feed and provide services to our clients through out the coming year. In 2022, we collected 105 gift cards, 201 turkeys, and $85,686!
One80 Place case managers having fun on “Superhero Day” during National Case Management Week.
One of our amazing volunteers serving in our kitchen on Halloween. One80 Place relies on volunteers to help serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day and assist in our donation center’s food pantry.
One80 Place's shelter in Downtown Charleston. This building houses 125 beds for men, women, children, and Veterans, a Community Kitchen, and staff offices.
Richland County Emergency Rental Assistance
UPDATE (Mar. 20, 2023):
The Richland County Emergency Rental Assistance Program is closed. If you are in need of rental or utility assistance, please email email@example.com for a GCS Community Guide that includes resource partners in the community that may be able to assist with rent nad utility needs.
||Assistant Director of Government and Community Services
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