On Thursday, Connecticut Governor, Dannel Malloy announced his state was the first to end chronic homelessness among the veteran community. A group in Columbus is doing what they can to stop homelessness among veterans in the area.
Col. Roy George Plummer was buying groceries a few years back, and a man wearing a Vietnam War Vet hat was bagging the groceries. Plummer looked at the man and told him to “please let me do this.” The two men began talking and it turned out the man wearing the veterans hat was living under a bridge. When Plummer heard this, he and his friend Rev. George Bauknight knew that something needed to be done.
That something was opening the Plummer House in 2010.
Reverend Bauknight served in the Army for 21 years and he knows what veterans go through and he says that it is tough to see a veteran down on his luck. “When I see someone on the street and they have a sign up saying, I’m a veteran, my heart just goes out and I say man, if we can reach out to him, and can get him here, you know that would be great,” Bauknight said.
The house serves a mediator for the veterans as it helps them from their previous situation to get back on their feet. Each veteran is on their own timetable, meaning they stay until they are in a good situation.
There are two houses right across from each other. One house can hold eight to nine veterans and the other can hold seven. Each man who lives there is unified by their service to the country, but their circumstances of getting to the home are different. “I used to live under a bridge for 12 years, and I went to court, vet court, veterans court and they helped me get here and I thank em,” Army veteran Andre Slaughter said. “I thank em. I thank them for getting me here.”
Slaughter also says the house gave life back to him and it has changed the outlook on his life.
Steven Hamilton also lives in the house. He has been there for a couple of weeks. He says the house has helped him find work. He also says he has made mistakes in his life, but he is improving his life and the house is a major reason for that. “A few more things I need to straighten out in my life,” Hamilton said. “And here, I’m at the perfect place. God sent me here for a purpose.”
Veterans say they look forward to the day when they can move on from the house and back into society. Bauknight says when the guys move on after finding restarting their lives, it means a lot. “It speaks volumes just to know that I was a part of that,” Bauknight said. “I was a part of his life.”
Bauknight will be in attendance at the Midland Community Farmers Market (9110 Warm Springs Road) on Saturday to receive a donation.
If you would like to donate to the house, call Rev. Charles Bauknight at 706-761-1761