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Columbia City Hall (2021 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia)

Columbia eyeing VFW Post property near Business Loop for homeless facility

Columbia City Hall (2021 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia)

Columbia’s city council is set to vote Monday evening on a proposal to purchase VFW property near the Business Loop to provide a location for a homeless shelter and services for the homeless.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 280 is willing to sell their building, parking lots and picnic shelter on Ashley street for $865,000. Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars would pay for the purchase and building improvements. President Joe Biden (D) signed ARPA into law in 2021.

The building has about 14,000 square feet. has reported that a non-profit group hopes to break ground next year on a 100-bed homeless shelter near the city’s power plant on the Business Loop. Publisher Mike Murphy has reported that the project’s construction cost has increased from $11-million to $18-million. Murphy says they project supporters have lined up $6-million in funding from the state.

Murphy told 939 the Eagle’s Fred Parry in September that the proposed 25,000 square foot facility would include laundry facilities, showers, and medical and dental clinics.

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