May 8, 2023

Leadership Columbia Completes St. Lawrence Place Community Center

Leadership Columbia Completes St. Lawrence Place Community Center
The 2023 class project includes new indoor and outdoor spaces for resident use 

The Columbia Chamber’s Leadership Columbia Class of 2023 has completed a new community center at St. Lawrence Place for their class project. An initiative of Homeless No More, St. Lawrence Place is a transitional shelter that offers support services, life skills training and up to two years of housing for families experiencing homelessness.

This year’s class project included creating a new indoor community center equipped with desks, whiteboards, bookshelves, toys, technology and décor to inspire creativity. Outside, the class built a pergola shade structure and ball rack, installed new picnic tables and a free library, laid sod and rubber mulch for the playground, and worked with local artist Ija Charles to paint a mural.

“The goal of this project is to create spaces for families to come together as they transition from homelessness to independence,” says Randi Branham, Leadership Columbia 2023 class member. “Our class is inspired by the work of Homeless No More to represent vulnerable families and keep them together. We hope that our project provides an extra layer of support to the families that need it most.”

Thank you to the following donors that made this project possible: Fantasy Island Daycare Center; Haynesworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.; Modern Exterminating; Elliott Davis; Founders FCU; Something Borrowed; JC Wilkie; Larry Escherer; Garden State Tile; Garvin Design Group; Truist Bank; SC Federal Credit Union; SuperSod; Bonitz; Palmetto GBA/BCBS; Miller Valentine; Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.; Magnus Development Partners; Grow Financial Foundation; Alfred Williams & Company; and Dupre Catering.

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About Leadership Columbia
Leadership Columbia is an educational program offered through the Columbia Chamber. The 10-month program provides emerging and existing leaders in the Midlands area with an opportunity to enhance their civic knowledge and network. For 50 years, Leadership Columbia has helped participants better understand the local community, while building relationships with the region’s current and future leaders. For more information on Leadership Columbia, visit or contact Leah Kelly, Director of Leadership Development, at 803.733.1146.

About Columbia Chamber
The Columbia Chamber is a private, nonprofit, partner-driven organization comprised of 1,200 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, and Richland counties. The Columbia Chamber serves as the voice of its Partners and the business community at large on matters of economic, educational, social, cultural, and political concern, as well as supports and promotes the success of its Partners through networking, professional development, advocacy, and leadership. The organization has represented the interests of the local business community since 1902. To become a Partner or to learn more about the Columbia Chamber, as well as its events, programs, and initiatives, visit

About Homeless No More
Homeless No More is a nonprofit organization that believes family homelessness is entirely solvable. Our spectrum of care – from emergency services to developing and building transitional and affordable housing – keeps each family together and meets their needs at the right time with the right services. By providing the support to move each family toward a permanent, self-sufficient solution, we can eradicate family homelessness and help parents and their children achieve lasting independence. For more information about Homeless No More, contact Lila Anna Sauls, EdD, HDFP, CEO via email at

Media Contacts:
Kelsey Bickley, Leadership Columbia Class of 2023,
Meg Senn, Columbia Chamber,

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