Would you give up your beloved pet if you lost your home, especially if you thought you could find a new home soon? Pets provide companionship, mental health benefits, and can be a safety measure for those living on the streets.
Between five and ten percent of homeless community members have pets, and too often families with pets are discriminated against, judged and excluded because of their animal companions.
the SHARING Center in Salinas, which is part of the Bay Area Community Services, has a different approach – people can come with their pets, partners or families, and mental health issues – there is no obstacle to enter inside.
The focus is on housing people, while removing other barriers that may hold people back, providing mental health support, employment / benefits support, etc. Housing Navigators work with clients one on one to help them end their cycle of homelessness and help them find permanent and sustainable housing. The team then works with clients for 6 months to ensure that they remain stably housed.
A spacious location at 845 E. Laurel Drive, the SHARE Center has a health clinic, counseling offices, library, commercial kitchen, multi-purpose room, pet kennels, an outdoor dining room, children’s play areas, bedrooms and private family spaces, with room for 125 people.
Currently 13 animals are on site.
In December, the Santa Cruz-based BirchBark Foundation announced a partnership to provide veterinary care, assistance services and pet supplies for people transitioning from homelessness to housing at SHARE Center.
This pilot program honors the human-animal bond, while doing “whatever it takes” to raise local homeless families and help them stabilize. Dogs, cats and other pets can receive the love and care they need so that they, in turn, can provide support and stability to their human families.
The SHARE Center is a “quick housing” program designed to bring street people into temporary housing.
“Everyone deserves health and housing,” said Nora Daly, Director of Development at BACS, “and for BACS to create housing opportunities that last, we consider the whole person, the whole family structure, including including pets. Pets can help make us happier, safer, and less isolated. This program is already bringing joy.
The Birch Bark Foundation provides financial assistance for life-threatening animal crises, counseling for animal loss and bereavement, and a strong education program to enable people to be the best caregivers in the world. their pets.
“We know that bonding with our animals can be one of the most important relationships in our lives,” said Michelle Frampton, executive director of the BirchBark Foundation.
Funding for animal welfare exams upon arrival at SHARE can “ensure that a pet and its family get the best possible start to success,” she added. “No matter what the circumstances are in someone’s life, animals are a family and should be protected as such.”
The partnership began with an event at the SHARE Center, the construction of a “tree of hope” decorated with words of love and meaning spoken by people touched by their pets and all those in need. of hope during difficult times.
Peace of Mind Dog Rescue and the Monterey County SPCA joined the event to honor the partnership and supports they will provide, such as kennel and behavioral training, of volunteers transporting pets to appointments. veterinarians and common veterinary care with Birch bark foundation thanks to the Harry and Jaynne Boand clinic of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue.
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