Transitions opened on June 15, 2011 to serve homeless men and women, age 18 or older. Since opening, Transitions has helped more than 2179 residents transition back into the local community and into permanent housing. Transitions is not a traditional shelter – its 260 residents are able to stay for the length of time they need to address their physical and mental health issues.
For those without a bed at Transitions, the Day Center offers access to showers, laundry facilities, computers, phones, support services, clothing, and bathrooms. We served 251,628 meals in 2018 plus a fresh salad bar 5 nights a week. Residents receive 3 meals a day; day users receive lunch.
Transitions understands the correlation between having a roof over your head and being able to hold a job. We are the most comprehensive program in the Midlands, offering everything from clothing to food to healthcare, job and life skills classes and help with securing affordable housing.
Our mission, as reflected by our name, is to provide the resources and safe environment homeless men and women need while they work to move out of homelessness. We partner with 50+ other agencies to provide and coordinate the broad range of services and resources needed.
We accept residents with active mental health and substance abuse issues and provide free on-site clinic or office space to several healthcare providers so clients have easy access to clinical support (assessment & referral service) to address those and other chronic health issues.
Tammaria has suffered through drug & alcohol addiction, domestic abuse, incarceration, and losing custody of her children. The final straw for Tammaria occurred at 41 years of age on the porch of a stranger with $10 in crack cocaine and a six-pack of beer.
After seven days of detoxing at a local drug and alcohol treatment facility, she was referred to Transitions in June of 2011. Tammaria was one of the first residents. She mentions, “While we were waiting to get assigned a case manager and a bed, I almost left. I got up and went to the front door, but something stopped me from leaving – a voice telling me “Just give yourself a chance. So I went back and met with my case manager.
The first thing I told her was that I didn’t like myself and I didn’t love myself. Right then, she challenged me to look in the mirror every day to say that I loved myself. I needed to hear that to help build my confidence because my troubles were not over. Soon after I got to Transitions, I got a call saying that the police were looking for me. A couple of months before, I had sold drugs to an undercover cop and they had it all on tape. I had to go turn myself in. The next morning, while I was in court, I was so surprised – not only was my case manager there, but so were other case managers, and friends that I met at Transitions.
Because of all the people there to support me, the judge released me to go to drug court instead of sending me to jail. I completed the program in a year. As part of that agreement, I had to go to AA and NA, which I did on the outside and at Transitions.”
In October of 2012, Tammaria graduated from the Transitions program. She exited the program with her dignity in tack and a best friend whom she later married.
Tammaria is now eight years clean and a stellar employee of Transitions for the past six years. Tammaria says, “As part of my job, I encourage everyone there to take advantage of everything that Transitions has to offer – classes, counseling, training and lots of love and support.”
What sets SOAR Columbia apart is that we care about more than just sports. Yes, we aim to have the highest quality coaches and the finest athletic training in Columbia, but we believe we will have failed if we trained good athletes who fail in life.
While we will not force our faith on anyone, it does shape what we do and the way we do things. In addition to learning sports skills, we aim to model and teach grit, resilience, perseverance, self-control, humility, respect and cooperation with our athletes. Sometimes these lessons will come from experiences on the field and sometimes through personal illustrations or portions of the Bible.
While we believe that ultimate life is only found in Jesus Christ, we also join hands with others in our community to work towards a more just, respectful, cooperative and honorable society. As we invest in children now, we shape the future of the greater Columbia area and the world. As we invest in our coaches we shape men and women who raise up another generation of coaches. As we invest in adults, we believe we are investing in the current generation of life-changers committed to making their places of work and their homes better places to work and live.
While there are other rec leagues committed to changing athletes, SOAR Columbia is the only rec league committed to changing lives.