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
SC Legal Services’ Comprehensive Rental Assistance Program Guide
Minority Business Resource- Brookfield Properties
Child Tax Credit Sign Up Instructions
Wateree Community Action- Electric Assistance
Wateree Community Action- Water Assistance
Cooperative Ministry COVID-19 Relief Fund-
NOTE: Renters who live within City of Columbia limits may apply for the City’s COVID relief grant program through The Cooperative Ministry (803-799-3853). Applicants for assistance must:
- Live within the Columbia city limits.
- Be facing eviction or utility service interruption. (Assistance cannot be used to pay for City-owned utility services.)
- Demonstrate that their financial hardship is a direct result of income lost due to the pandemic.
SC Homeowner Rescue Program Information
What kinds of assistance does this program provide?
- Mortgage Payment Assistance
- Payment Assistance for Delinquent Property Taxes
- Mortgage Reinstatement
- Payment Assistance for Down Payment Assistance Loans
- Payment Assistance for Homeowner’s Utilities
- Counseling, Educational Services, or Legal Services
GCS Organization's of the Month (Archives)
February - Senior Resources
March - Sisters of Charity
April- Richland Library
May- Columbia Housing Authority
June- Homeless No More
July- Harvest Hope Food Bank
August - COMET
September- UWM Well Partners & Dental/Eye Clinic
November- Central SC Habitat for Humanity
December- Historic Columbia
February 2022- Reconciliation Ministries
March 2022- SC Dept. on Aging
GCS recognizes Camp Cole as its 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 Camp Cole.
Camp Cole is an accessible and inclusive camp and retreat center for children, teens, and adults with illnesses, disabilities, and life challenges. During its inaugural summer in 2021, it served over 500 campers who might otherwise not have been able to attend camp. In the summer of 2022, Camp Cole will double the number of campers served, providing camp experiences to over 1,000 campers who are experiencing challenges that include but are not limited to, cancer, homelessness, muscular dystrophy, heart disease, kidney disease, traumatic brain injuries, autism, Down syndrome, a stroke, and sexual assault.
On-site, Camp Cole's campus is home to a state-of-the-art medical care facility, outdoor amphitheater, 13 Courage Cabins, accessible waterfront, zero-entry swimming pool, large multipurpose room, and more. Camp Cole is a year-round camp and retreat center that strives to connect campers with one another, create life-long memories, and foster meaningful friendships.
As we gear up for camp, we are always looking for generous supporters who make these opportunities for campers possible. Please visit our website at www.campcole.org/donate to help send kids to camp.
Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP/ERA2)
UPDATE (MARCH 24, 2022): Richland County will resume processing existing Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) applications Monday, March 28 for eligible applicants currently in the review queue.
Applications will be reviewed by application and priority status, in accordance with U.S. Treasury guidelines, for as long as funding is available.
Applicants: You are encouraged to monitor your email and be prepared to update your information in the participant portal here after March 28. For application assistance, please contact the County’s call center: 855-216-9198, or email the ERAP team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are unable to open up the process to new applicants at this time.
To view Richland County GIS Mapping (Click Here)