My Dog is My Home is a national organization dedicated to preserving the human-animal bond in circumstances of homelessness. Due to a general "no pets allowed" rule within social services, people experiencing homelessness are often asked to decide between their companion animals or shelter. We don't believe this is an ultimatum anyone should have to face.
My Dog is My Home's mission is to increase access to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness with companion animals. By securing their ability to maintain their most important relationships and find adequate shelter, we ensure every family’s right to build a home.
We envision equitable access to home for all people and all families.
How We Work towards our mission
Through a capacity building approach, we strengthen the ability of local organizations and social service entities to meet the needs of this sub-population of the homeless through the following methods:
My Dog is My Home provides consultation to social service organizations ready to explore servicing the entire human-animal family. Consultation includes:
- Recommendations to improve existing animal protocols and co-sheltering practices based on rigorous assessments of organization practices and culture.
- Dialogue with stakeholders to ensure solutions are informed by the needs and wants of affected communities.
- Assistance with implementing recommendations.
- Planning for project sustainability by increasing the ability of local organizations to continue the work; decrease the presence of My Dog is My Home once the projects are established.
- Conceptualization and implementation of practices that uphold high standards of animal welfare.
By collecting data regarding service delivery to homeless people with animals, My Dog is My Home contributes to the evidence base for co-sheltering through:
- Documentation of successful individual organizational practices.
- Evaluation of animal protocols within shelter and housing programs.
- Evaluation of the attitudes and knowledge of direct service providers regarding integrating the human-animal bond into their practice.
- Development of holistic assessment measures to monitor quality of interventions.
Training and education
My Dog is My Home provides workforce development and education regarding the needs of homeless people with animals by:
- Widely and freely sharing data collected from the Research and Consultation phases of work in an online clearinghouse of information.
- Training the workforce on incorporating the human-animal bond on both individual and systems levels of their work.
- Educating the public on the needs of this specific sub-population of the homeless through art and media campaigns.