My Dog is My Home met with directors of the Office of Homeless Services (OHS) and Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) in Philadelphia in February. The meeting came at fortuitous time, in conjunction with the departments' growing awareness for the need to co-shelter people and their animals together. In order to build programs, policies, and protocols that properly address the population's needs, all parties discussed the importance of data and methods for collection.
OHS has recently added the question "Do you have a pet?" to their housing eligibility screening tool within their coordinated entry process. If the respondent answers "yes", they are asked the follow-up question, "If yes, is it a certified service animal, emotional support animal, or neither."
OHS and DBHIDS have also agreed to be among the first members of our Co-Sheltering Collaborative's pilot year. The Co-Sheltering Collaborative's pilot year begins in May 2018 and will exist to build a community of co-sheltering providers who will meet to identify and promote effective practices.
For more information about the Co-Sheltering Collaborative, click here.