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Columbia, SC

Find alternatives to calling the Columbia Police Department.

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.

Housing

  • Midlands Mutual Aid
    • An all volunteer, grassroots network seeking to offer mutual aid and solidarity to people affected by social distancing and illness. Delivering food, medicine, providing rides, and connecting callers with resources for food and rental assistance.
    • 1 (888) 927-6679
    • Request help online here
    • http://mutualaidmidlands.org/
  • Oliver Gospel Mission*
    • Emergency Men’s Shelter, Open 24/7. In order to stay at the Mission please provide a picture ID and the ability to pass a breathalyzer test. Provides housing for up to 30 days. A non-smoking, drug and alcohol free facility.
    • 1100 Taylor Street, Columbia, SC
    • (803) 254-6470 x
    • https://www.olivergospel.org/
    • *Please note this resource is Christian-affiliated
  • SC211
    • 211 is a non-emergency line staffed by trained specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residents of Richland, Newberry, Lexington, Fairfield, Orangeburg and Calhoun counties may access this resource for referrals and volunteer information.
    • 211
    • Out of area: (803) 733-5408 or toll-free 1 (866) 892-9211
    • www.sc211.org
  • Transitions Homeless Center
    • Emergency shelter services in addition to long-term programming and food availability, plus daily services to non-residential patrons. Serves men and women over 18.
    • (803) 708-4861
    • https://transitionssc.org/

LGBTQ+

  • Harriet Hancock LGBT Center
    • Offers a variety of resources including a free lending library, meeting spaces for LGBT-supportive groups, and a directory of LGBT-friendly businesses, organizations, and counselors while also serving as the headquarters for the South Carolina Pride Movement. Services are free and available to all. Services limited due to COVID – operating hours may vary depending on the availability of center staff and volunteers.
    • (803) 771-7713
    • http://harriethancockcenter.org/

Mental Health

  • Lexington County Community Mental Health Center
    • Provides a variety of services to include individual, group, and family psychotherapy with a trained therapist, psychiatric medical assessments with a Psychiatrist or Nurse Practitioner, supportive nursing services, crisis interventions, and care coordination.  Services are individually tailored to meet the recovery goals and needs of each individual.
    • (803) 996-1500 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
    • 1 (833) 364-2274 (After-hours CCRI Community Crisis Response Line, 24/7)
    • http://lexingtonmhc.org/
  • Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc.
    • Provides intensive behavioral health care interventions and support services that are designed to assist individuals with severe and persistent mental illness live independently in the community. Housing program for homeless individuals, unaccompanied youth and families with needed resources. Financial management for individuals in need of assistance in managing social security disability benefits.
    • 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • SC211.org
    • Agency offers assistance over the phone to persons in crisis situations, especially those who may be at risk of doing harm to themselves or others. The caller does not have to reveal his/her name. Persons working on the Hotline are trained to respond to crisis situations.
    • 211
    • Out of area: (803) 733-5408 or toll-free 1 (866) 892-9211
    • www.sc211.org

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons
    • Offers highly-specialized and comprehensive services to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault regardless of where they are on their journey to a safe life, free from abuse. All services are completely free, completely confidential and the client’s safety is always top priority.  
    • (803) 649-0480 (24/7 Crisis Hotline)
  • My Sister’s House
    • Domestic violence shelter for women and children, offering crisis services in addition to shelter and ongoing programs including counseling, court advocacy, and educational programming.
    • 1 (800) 273-4673 (24/7 Crisis Line)
    • https://www.mysistershouse.org/
  • Safe Passage
    • Safe Passage is a 501(c)(3) organization, that provides a 24-hour emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis line, advocacy, counseling, and other supportive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse in York, Chester, Lancaster, and Union counties
    •  (803) 329-2800 (24/7 Crisis Hotline)
    • Toll Free: 1 (800) 659-0977
  • Sexual Trauma Services
    • STSM advocates for and supports survivors of sexual assault and abuse and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence. Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands provides crisis intervention to survivors of sexual assault and abuse age 12 and older, and operate a 24/7 crisis hotline.
    • (803) 771-7273 (24/7 Crisis Hotline)
    • https://www.stsm.org/
  • Sistercare
    • Sistercare offers programs of services for survivors of domestic violence and their children residing in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield, Newberry and Kershaw counties in South Carolina. A 24-hour, 7 days-a-week service line is operated for individuals in need of domestic violence services.
    • (803) 765-9428 (24/7 Crisis Hotline)
    • http://www.sistercare.org/

Youth

Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc.
    • Serves youth between the ages of 17-24 who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness by providing access to basic needs, behavioral healthcare, and referral to community partners for housing, medical, legal, education, and employment resources.
    • 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • 1433 Gregg Street, Columbia, SC, 29201
  • Sistercare Teen Outreach Program (STOP)
    • STOP is a preventive program designed to combat intimate partner violence among young people, and is striving to reach and educate young people in the Sistercare five-county service area (Richland, Lexington, Fairfield, Newberry and Kershaw.)
    • (803) 765-9428 (24/7 Crisis Hotline)
    • http://www.sistercare.org/we-can-help/teen-help/

Elders

  • Senior Resources, Inc.
    • Services for seniors in the areas of food, home care, and active living. Provides meal delivery, transportation, home care, companion, and other services. Services are designed to empower seniors to remain healthy and independent. Services are free or low-cost.
    • 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • (803) 252-7734 or (866) 818-6499

Crime

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving – South Carolina
    • Assists victims of drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking incidents. Help with navigating rights, advocacy, support, and resource referral. All services are free.
    • (803) 748-7333 (Local)
    • 1 (877) 623-3435 (24/7, National)
    • https://www.madd.org/south-carolina/
  • South Carolina Legal Services
    • Provides free legal assistance in a wide variety of civil legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina. Can assist with obtaining orders of protection.
    • 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mon. – Fri.
    • 1 (888) 346-5592 (Intake line)
    • (803) 799-9668 (Columbia office, direct)
    • https://sclegal.org/
  • South Carolina Victims Assistance Network
    • Provides resource, referral and advocacy services to crime victims and victim service providers through their Crime Victim Information and Service System (CVISS) Program.
    • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • (803) 750-1200
    • http://www.scvan.org/

Substance Abuse

  • LRADAC
    • Offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs for people in Lexington and Richland Counties. Inpatient detox services, ongoing treatment, outpatient counseling. Services for adults and youth.
    • (803) 726-9390 (24/7)

Please consider using these alternatives to calling the Columbia Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention. We can abolish the police by not calling the police.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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