Plumb Place offers emergency and transitional housing to women age 18 and up experiencing homelessness. We can house up to 21 women at a time in 17 dedicated transitional housing rooms and 4 dedicated emergency shelter beds.
In 2017, 47% of the women who called Plumb Place home had experienced domestic violence within the past 12 months, 68% were working to get clean from substance abuse, and 64% had a mental health diagnosis.
The American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Nov. 2013 explain some of the unique challenges women in homelessness experience in terms of health: “Homelessness continues to be a significant problem in the United States. Women and families represent the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Health care for these women is a challenge but an important issue that needs to be addressed. Homeless women are at higher risk of injury and illness and are less likely to obtain needed health care than women who are not homeless.”
During one single night in January 2017, there were 2,287 homeless individuals in Kansas. On just that night.
Women who come to Plumb Place create a list of goals and among the top goals we see time and time again, are: securing healthcare, obtaining employment, getting clean/sober for those experiencing substance abuse, and getting into therapy for the majority of women who have a mental health diagnosis. Most often these mental health diagnoses include post traumatic stress disorder or anxiety and depression.
As a snapshot of a single day in July 2018 at Plumb Place: July 10th, 2018.
Plumb Place was home to a total of 16 women that day. 3 were in Emergency Shelter and 13 were in Transitional Housing. 11 of the women had income: 3 were on disability, 7 working full time jobs, and 1 working part time. Of the 4 that were unemployed, 1 was aggressively seeking employment, 1 was planning for a relocation and had a job awaiting her in Topeka. 2 were having a hard time becoming motivated and the focus for these two was on improving self image and confidence. 11 of the women in Plumb Place that day had a diagnosis of substance use disorder and all 16 had a history of trauma.
What do you think of when you think of a homeless woman?
Often, we do not think of the waitress who brings us our meal, the smiling woman behind the counter at our favorite boutique, or the dedicated college student working late in the library. We do not think of the woman cutting our hair or the young mom picking up her children from school. We don’t think of the retired professional who got sick and went into debt over medical bills. However, this is the reality.
What Does Plumb Place Mean to the Women Who Call it Home?
Read their stories in their own words…
My experience at Plumb Place has been a personal journey of a new start; I was beginning my life as a single mother who needed a car, job, savings, etc. I was able to get all of those things while participating in the program in less than a year. I bought a vehicle for nursing school and to travel 50 miles a week to see my daughter, started a new career while furthering my education as well as using local resources to help with now as well as the future. I soon began to pay off old debts and started to save. I got on a waiting list for housing and still had a roof over my head while I waited. I met new wonderful people who helped guide me in a new positive way, starting with art therapy where I learned to make jewelry, goal planning, and had counseling. I began volunteering in my spare time while accumulating new possessions I will have for my new apartment. I have learned new skills and began working out for health benefits. It is a healthy, positive program for any women seeking shelter while rebuilding and establishing a new life. I now feel secure about living on my own while following my dreams. – Anonymous resident, 2018.
“With out you guys I wouldn’t be where I am today. I never thought I’d have my own place and be an assistant manager for Kwik Shop. I can never thank you enough for all you did to help me as I was going through a rough patch in life.” – Danny Doeden, 2018 (name used with permission.)