COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson recently delivered her State of the City address in which she reviewed the city's major accomplishments of the past year.
There were quality of life victories, such as Columbus being in the top echelon of bike friendly cities. There was a transportation update on improvements in bus service and fiscal management progress such as creating redevelopment initiatives to spark growth and jobs.
And she made a powerful call to thaw the property tax freeze. But one item did not grab all the headlines it deserves.
It took Columbus just one year to reach the goal of providing housing for 86 previously homeless veterans, a number that accounts for nearly all the homeless vets in the city.
That is an outstanding success story.
Columbus is also on the path to meeting a secondary goal, of finding stable housing for 55 other chronic non-veteran homeless citizens. These are people who generally live in the tent cities around town...and by the end of 2016, they may all have more than a tarp to cover them at night.
The city didn't do all this alone, as the Mayor is quick to point out. She gives credit to the strong philanthropy and private partnerships the city has enjoyed along with groups like the United Way, who stepped up to make that lofty goal a reality.
Congratulations to the Mayor and to all the city's leaders who worked so hard for years on such a difficult problem as homelessness.
It's a problem that cities of far greater resources are nowhere near solving.
So Columbus should be very proud they found a way to do the impossible and find housing for nearly every homeless veteran in the city.
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