State Rep. Phil Plummer is the first elected leader that we have chosen for our new statewide profile series highlighting leaders across the region who are leading the fight against homelessness and housing insecurity. COHHIO has chosen to highlight Rep. Plummer because of his support for Permanent Supportive Housing in Ohio.

Rep. Phil Plummer (R) is currently serving his second term as state representative. He represents the 40th House District, which includes portions of Montgomery County. The district includes nearly 22,000 low-income renter households, with nearly 9% of tenants receiving an eviction filing in one year, according to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s legislative district reports. Over 7% of homeowners in the 40th House District spend over half their income on housing.

Rep. Plummer has had an extensive career of service to the people of Montgomery County, most recently serving as Sheriff of Montgomery County before his time as state representative.

Here’s our interview with Rep. Plummer:

Question:  So, tell us how you got interested in service and serving the state of Ohio as a State Representative.

Answer: Well, I was always interested in law enforcement and I started working in the Sheriff’s office. After 30 years in the Sheriff’s office I got elected to be Sheriff and there was an opportunity to run for state representative. I have always liked to help people and solve problems. I’m interested in fixing holes in the criminal justice system.

Question: Do you see any intersections between homelessness and the criminal justice system?

Answer: Yes and supportive housing is part of this solution. In my experience, about 40% of the population in the criminal justice system are experiencing a mental health crisis and maybe about 50% is experiencing a substance abuse disorder and you have a lot of the same people cycling in and out of our jails and prisons. Supportive housing can be a positive stabilizing force for good.

Question: Along those same lines, what do you think about the statement “Housing is healthcare”.  What does this mean to you?

Answer: Yes, to me that means stability and quality of life.  Providing proper resources through the mental health and recovery boards is critical and helps the community across the board – safety, economy, overall health of our communities and neighborhoods.

Question: Your fun spot? Place you would like to go back and visit?

Answer: Colorado, Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains.  I love the outdoors. Fishing and Hiking, big sky, great air, no humidity.