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  • Writer's pictureChurch@thePark

HOMELESSNESS MYTHS


This topic actually has its own Wikipedia page, which has a lot of helpful information.


Pet ownership is fairly common among people who are unhoused. As anyone who has ever owned a pet knows, it can be costly to care for a pet, financially and otherwise. People with pets can have a harder time finding housing. And, for people who are unhoused, there is the issue of what to do with a pet if you have a job, or if you need to go to an appointment.


There are many benefits to owning a good pet. Pet ownership can provide people with a sense of community and connection, which is especially important for people in marginalized communities. Pets can provide people with a sense of purpose. And a pet can provide protection and a sense of safety for people, which is also very important for someone who is unhoused.


Vicky Lawson, University of Washington professor, says, “the humans care for dogs, but the dogs also care for the humans. There is a mutualistic relationship, in which the humanity of homeless people is expressed, rather than them being viewed as disposable.”


At C@P, one of the ways that we strive to be low-barrier is by allowing people to bring their pets with them when they enter our micro-shelters. There can be plenty of issues with allowing pets. But, we strive to create a space where people do not have to choose between keeping a pet and having a safe place to stay.


 

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