According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, more than 3.5 million Americans are homeless. And of these 3.5 million, between 5 and 10 percent have dogs and/or cats, with areas where the percentage reaches 24.
For many homeless people, their only friend and family member is a beloved animal companion.
in many cases the animals are the lifeline and reason for living for these people without a home, human beings living in a stigmatized and marginalized environment in which few if any would choose to live.
- 40% of homeless in America comprise of women and children
- More than 1 million homeless children per U.S. Department of Education and National Center on family homeless data.
- Among homeless children 8% physically abused
(2 times the rate of non homeless)
8% sexually abused
(3 times rate of non homeless)
- 85% of homeless families are headed by single mothers.
…A new book by University of Colorado sociology Professor Leslie Irvine is the first to explore what it takes to live on the streets with an animal. Using interviews with more than seventy homeless people in four cities, My Dog Always Eats First reveals what animals mean for homeless people and how they care for their four-legged friends. You can read the introduction to this landmark book here. Dr. Irvine’s book provides rich descriptions of how animals provide social and emotional support and protection from harm (see also “My dog feels my pain“), and, in some cases, even helped turn around the lives of people who had few other reasons to live.
…Homeless people told her how their dogs encouraged interaction with others and kept them from becoming isolated. Former addicts and alcoholics described how their animals inspired them to get clean and sober.
“In surveys, homeless people report levels of attachment to their animals that may surpass those found among the domiciled public. They frequently refuse offers of shelter or housing that require them to give up or separate from their animals.” (excerpt from the first chapter A Good Life for a Dog? of the book, “My Dog Always Eats First.”
Feeding Pets of the Homeless is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer-based organization that is dedicated to collecting food for animal companions of the homeless in the United States and Canada, as well as administering veterinary care. Its home office is in Carson City, Nevada, with collection sites all over the USA.
I started a collection site in the Monterey Bay area. Recently, I asked Whole Foods to donate pet food. And they agreed to donate $100 worth. I asked the church (info below) and they agreed to distribute the pet food. They also distribute people food.
“We received 11 bags of dog food and 2 bags of cat food. On Saturday, April 26th, we gave out 2 bags of dog food. Then on Tuesday, April 29th, all the pet food was given out. Word of mouth spread like wild fire…” Father John.
- Epiphany Lutheran & Episcopal Church
- 425 Carmel Ave
- Marina, CA 93933
- (Corner of Carmel Ave. & California Ave.)
Am working with obtaining other pet food donations from various companies and having various churches in the area to distribute it.
If you would like to donate pet food for the homeless and/or make a contribution so that pet food can be bought and given to the homeless, please visit my pAYPAL via pr matchmaker at yahoo.com
I am also working on a project to HOUSE homeless people and their pets. Will let you know more as it takes shape. If you would like to participate, please let me know. More info here:
imagine “affordable and dignified housing” for the impoverished.
“The experiment is a powerful reminder that the homeless are people, just like us, with one exception. They are in trouble and in pain. And they are someone’s uncle or cousin or wife.”