What We Do, In Brief
Plumb Place assists women experiencing homelessness by providing safe, transitional housing with case management and therapeutic services; Plumb Place serves women 18 years and older including unaccompanied youth ages 18-24. The women served by Plumb Place include women who may have physical or developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions, mental illness, substance abuse disorder, chronic homelessness, veterans, and women who have experienced domestic violence.
Plumb Place complies with HUD’s housing first which means we operates on the belief that women who feel secure in housing are able to better make progress on their individual goals. Plumb Place has 17 dedicated transitional housing beds in 17 individual rooms and 4 emergency shelter beds in 2 large rooms for the ability to serve up to 21 women at a time. While the program is designed to help program participants work toward self sufficiency as quickly as possible, and several are helped each year in our emergency shelter program, many women benefit from the added support of the transitional housing program.
Entry to Plumb Place is based on meeting HUD definition of homelessness and/or fleeing domestic violence. Through the use of the VI-SPDAT – HMIS version and Self Sufficiency Matrix offered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, the scores of both of these forms are used to ensure program participants are entered into the appropriate Plumb Place program – Emergency Shelter or Transitional Housing.
Plumb Place staff is SOAR certified and Trained in Suicide Prevention as well as held to the professional standards of their respective professions and the ethical standards set by the National Organization of Human Services. Participants are offered intensive case management, life skills education, and art therapy to address issues identified upon admission and throughout participation in the program as well as in-house, program-participant led Narcotics Anonymous groups, staff led domestic violence education and support groups, and staff led trauma processing art therapy groups.
Case Management and Life Skills Education
Intensive case management assesses needs and identifies barriers to permanent housing; this is a collaborative effort with the program participant to identify goals and objectives as needed to increase skills and income, build self determination, and secure housing. As goals are achieved and documented, new goals are established to ensure permanent housing can be maintained upon exit from the program. Participants make use of the on-site resource center which provides, staffed by the program manager, hands-on instruction with budgeting, independent living skills, job search, resume writing and application assistance, as well as access to online education and software to improve educational functioning level.
Therapeutic Services and Creative Opportunities
Women in Plumb Place have access to art therapy groups and individual sessions offered by masters level professional director of resident services, art therapist. This helps the women of Plumb Place to process trauma, aid in self esteem and identity building, and other individual mental health issues as identified. Art exhibition opportunities are available through Plumb Place’s involvement as a location in the first Friday art walk as well as the ability to sell their art pieces in the Plumb Place gift shop during events.
Entrepreneurship Program and Transferable Skills Training
Training and experience occurs in a variety of transferable skills including event organization, decor, cooking, stress coping skills involved in the carrying out of events, time management, planning, presentation, and public speaking, as well as other employment skills which close gaps in work history and increase the marketability of program participants to future employers. Plumb Place staff tailor the particular training and opportunities to the individual women and their goals whether that goal is to complete a GED or high school diploma, enter college, get back to a disrupted career, start a new career, start a business, reconnect with family, begin and maintain sobriety, or any number of individual and unique goals which will help women at Plumb Place re-enter the community as contributing members filled with self confidence and the ability to give back and take part in their town.
Community Engagement, and Referrals to Community Partners
Program participants are also responsible for volunteer opportunities in house or in the community, resulting in self confidence and accountability. Plumb Place is proud to work alongside SOS domestic violence shelter as we work to aid many of the same clientele as well as working closely with all other social services organizations in Emporia. Plumb Place makes referrals to maximize the use of mainstream resources for participants based on individual need; community agencies to which Plumb Place routinely refer program participants in need include:
- Crosswinds Mental Health Center for additional mental health services and medication
- Counseling Associates of the Flint Hills for additional mental health services,
- Kansas Legal Services for legal aid
- ECKAN for a variety of service for low-income residents including section 8 housing aid
- Southeast Kansasworks for additional job search aid and employment services
- Veterans’ Employment and Training Service through the Department of Labor for veteran program participants
- DCF for family services, help with economic and food assistance
- SOS for domestic violence advocacy, education, and support to residents in need of emergency shelter in an undisclosed location due to imminent danger
- The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities Resource Bus, and Abundant Harvest for food assistnace
- Flint Hills Community Health Clinic, for affordable and accessible health care on an income based fee scale
Length of Program
While the HUD standard is two years placement for transitional housing, Plumb Place encourages stability and self sufficiency as quickly as individually possible for each program participant; the average stay is approximately 9 – 12 months However, at Plumb Place we understand everyone has their own individual needs, goals, and obstacles toward stable employment and individual permanent housing and we are glad to be able to offer the variety and depth of services to the women in need who call Plumb Place home.