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The Baer Minimalist Blog -- Tips, Tricks and Hacks on LIVING a more ORGANIZED + STYLIZED Life


Maria Baer

This past week I had the opportunity to tour Coburn Place and was able to see how YOUR donations are placed directly into the hands of those in need. I felt compelled to share the impact that volunteers, the Coburn Place staff and the community are making for adults and children who are impacted by interpersonal abuse. My hope is that you keep Coburn Place top of mind as you look to rehome items that are no longer a fit in your space.

Since 1996, Coburn Place has been this incredibly unique resource for adults and children who are fleeing a dangerous situation. Indianapolis is beyond lucky to have this community resource in our midst, as it is one of the only resources of its kind in a multi-state area. In fact, since opening, Coburn Place has provided more than 1800 adults and children housing and support services.

Coburn Place

You see, emergency shelters are limited to housing individuals for a maximum of anywhere from 30 to 90 days, but at their onsite facility Coburn Place provides 35 fully furnished apartments for 2-years both rent and utility free. Which means, at any given time there are 35 adults and 50 – 60 kids that call Coburn Place home, with a waitlist over a year long. Coburn Place also offers offsite housing support, and is currently serving over 70 households in that way as well.

Coburn Place offers more than just a place to call home, it provides resources to help plan out a future that goes down a very different path than the road these individuals were on. Their goal is to help residents address safety, self-sufficiency and housing-readiness barriers so that they can exit to live safely and stably in permanent housing of their choice.


Various pantries and storage closets are stocked with every-day essentials (paper goods, diapers, baby wipes, non-perishable food, linens, etc.) and can be accessed on an as-needed basis. Accessing the pantry generally comes along with a coaching session from their case worker on how they can budget these items in each month moving forward. They want to focus on connecting people to resources by providing support, rather than just providing handouts.

Coburn Place Pantry

Families have access to the Kids Club, which runs in the evenings so adults can go to well-being sessions or meet with their case worker. The Kids Club focuses on therapy designed for children who’ve been through the trauma of domestic violence and homelessness. The room is filled with bright colors, tons of tie-die and more books and movies than any kiddo could dream of. During school breaks, the Kids Club runs all day so adults can continue to work.  

An on-site fitness center is available so that workouts can take place in a safe environment, often alongside a case worker.

Coburn Place Fitness Center

There is also an entire basement hallway dedicated to furniture just waiting to be placed into the apartment of someone moving in. When a resident finds themselves in a position to move out of Coburn Place, they can take all the belongings they received (furniture, mattresses, dishes, décor, etc.) with them to their new home.

Many of the available resources are provided to residents for the rest of their lives.


When a new resident moves in, their new apartment is set up from top to bottom. Check out these photos to see a 3-bedroom apartment that is move-in ready.

Other residents help to put the finishing touches on the apartment. If children are moving in, young residents at Coburn Place have the chance to look through the supply of toys in the Children’s Services Closet to pass along a few special items to welcome the new family.   So you see, your donations are given to someone, and then that person also has the chance to pass them along to someone else coming into Coburn Place and feel a sense of gratification. 

We often struggle parting ways with items that have meaning to us, even if they are just gathering dust in our basement or attic. I loved how Julie Henson, Donor Relations Officer, so beautifully put it when she recounted the story of a child’s size rocking chair. This chair was clearly an emotionally charged heirloom, donated to Coburn Place. It was placed into the apartment of a family about to move in and the look of delight on the daughter’s face when she saw the rocking chair brought tears to the team’s eyes. This family was going through a rebirth of sorts and were given an heirloom that meant something to someone, which gave them a chance to feel as though they had something that mattered. Everyday Julie gets to see people take their precious belongings and create a new home for them by donating them to Coburn Place.

Indianapolis is so fortunate to have resources available for situations that should never occur to anyone. Being able to escape a domestic violence situation because you have a stable place to call home for two years allows many adults to leave these relationships for good.


Donate Goods - While Coburn Place’s needs are constantly revolving based on storage space and the needs of their residents, their current wish list is always posted on their website. Each month, they offer a pick-up service for large items, and you are always welcome to call to verify the items they need and arrange a donation drop-off. You can also e-mail our Office and Inventory Coordinator, Roni, at roni@coburnplace.org.

One item they do not accept is clothing, but they recommend taking items to Thrifty Threads, as their residents are given vouchers to shop there for free.

Overview of Donations in 2018 - how incredible!

Overview of Donations in 2018 - how incredible!

Donate Time – Volunteers (individuals and groups) can spend time beautifying the grounds surrounding Coburn Place, cleaning the facility, organizing the on-site pantries or working in the Kids Club. Learn how you can get involved here.

Donate Money - $15 pays for a family of three to be safe for a day at Coburn Place, but a gift of any amount provides hope. Learn how your dollars go directly to support the mission of Coburn Place here

Attend the Blue & Gold Breakfast in June – This is a rare opportunity to hear inspiring stories from a Coburn Place survivor, a keynote from former Pacers player Eddie Gill, and be among hundreds of community minded guests, like you, who raise funds to help empower survivors of interpersonal violence. Tickets can be purchased here.


Seeing first-hand the inner-workings of this life-changing organization truly left a mark on my heart. Helping my clients find a new home for items that are no longer needed, like Coburn Place, is something that I will never tire of.

Make sure to follow @coburnplace on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! And be sure to check out The Baer Minimalist’s other Donation Resource posts for Give Back Box, The Gifted Gown, Project Purse and Grant’s Gifts.

The Baer Minimalist helps busy families create ORGANIZED + STYLIZED spaces and events throughout Indianapolis. 

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