Transitions Housing Center: A cool place for some to beat the heat

Transitions Housing Center serves the area’s homeless, just as temperatures reach triple digits.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As temperatures across the Midlands are forecast to reach near 100 degrees this week, most of us will retreat to our homes, enjoying all the modern amenities, like air conditioning. But what happens when someone doesn’t have a place to call home?

That’s where Transitions Homeless Center comes in. On Monday, as the sun’s rays beat down outside the building, dozens gathered inside to cool off in the air conditioning and grab a midday snack.

Craig Currey, President and CEO of Transitions said the group’s day center is key to providing help.

“So there’s about 330 people that will come into the day center and it’s a key place where people get help. There’s ice, the water fountains and we have another ice chest available. In the summer months it’s particularly important, with it getting so hot, that people stay hydrated,” Currey said.

Howard Sims has been living at Transitions since February and says having a place to go during the sweltering heat is crucial.

“It’s very important, with it being 80- and 90-degree weather outside, you really want somewhere where you can just come in, relax and get cool,” Sims explained.

Sims said if Transitions wasn’t available, the homeless would have very few other options.

“Most people go the library, others, they would just be walking around on the street trying to find somewhere to keep cool,” he said.

Currey explained that Transitions location allows it to help the most people possible.

“It’s downtown. It’s where people need the help. It’s not somewhere where they can’t get to. All they have to do is walk here and come in. The beauty of our day center is, it’s right where folks need it. So, they can come in, get help and get what they need. They can hydrate, they can get ice, and they can do as much as they need to,” Currey said.

Transitions Housing Center has several programs available to serve unhoused adults 18 and up, including residential programs. The day center is open every day from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and offers lunch and snacks. Transitions is located at the intersection of Calhoun and Main Streets in Downtown Columbia.