Homeless individuals oftentimes have pets that keep them company, providing much needed companionship on the streets.
Its difficult to go inside an establishments to get food when you have your pet with you and are houseless. A soup kitchen in New York City aims to change that as they are allowing in homeless individuals and their pets, and they are actually providing medical care for the animals as well.
From late spring through the fall, located inside of Graffiti Church is an organization called Collide which is part of the Graffiti Community Ministries. Twice a week they feed the homeless individuals and their pets.
Collide states the following in regards to their mission:
These weekly meals allow us to connect with our clients while outfitting them with supplies needed for themselves and their animals.”
Right outside the church is an outdoor picnic area they have set up where both pets and individuals may relax and have a meal together.
They also give assistance with the licensing of pets, vaccination updates, and having pets tagged with ID which shows proof of ownership which can be very important when confronted by law enforcement and retrieving pets if they become lost or stolen.
There are also incidents where homeless pet owners encounter emergency situations, such as one man who needed to return home after being seriously injured in a hit and run. Collide found a way to get both him, and his pet, back home to recover. Collide describes the incident:
With the help of many complete strangers in Arkansas, we were able to make the arrangements to fly our client and his dog home to the west coast where he received the additional surgery he needed after being a victim of a hit and run, He made a full recovery.
A blizzard in January left many houseless individuals and their pets in danger. Collide ended up opening an emergency boarding situation where they would take care of the individuals dogs, cats, and even pet rats! The individuals would then seek the safety of a shelter (which don’t allow animals) while resting assured that their pets were also safe and secure.
Collide has been providing a very unique service that clearly is a godsend for many of the homeless who care deeply about their pets. Collides mission statement is the following:
At Collide, we recognize the critical role companion animals play in the overall well-being of their owners, as they offer emotional support, stability, and unconditional love. We believe all creatures are valuable, and for us, that means compassion extends from the end of the leash to the hand that holds it.
This amazing program has been running since 2010 and they have helped literally hundreds of pet owners on the street. Share their wonderful efforts with all your friends and family!