Grand Junction First-of-Its-Kind Homeless Pet-Friendly Shelter Officially Opens
History was made directly in Grand Junction, Colorado as a new and first of its kind in the nation shelter opened.
On Saturday, December 4, 2021, the community of Grand Junction, came together for the grand opening of Homeward Hounds, a temporary shelter that allows both people, and their pets!
Homelessness in America
Throughout the country, approximately 580,466 people experienced homelessness in 2020 according to the Alliance to End Homelessness. In the state of Colorado, reportedly there were 17.1 homeless per 10,000 people in the general population.
A Rising Issue
From 2019 to 2020, homelessness across the nation increased by 2%. Previously trends were declining, but various factors can contribute to the vulnerability of becoming homeless such as age, race, and gender.
HomewardBound of the Grand Valley
HomewardBound provides temporary shelter to those experiencing homelessness right here in the Grand Valley. HBGV is a non-profit organization so payment is not required for access to their service. HBGV aims to provide a safe space for all of those who need it but were previously not able to accept pets.
The Creation of Homeward Hounds
Pets are family, and I'm sure most people would agree with that sentiment. Like so many others, those experiencing homelessness don't wish to be separated from their fur babies. A large number of people experiencing homelessness would rather stick with their pets than take shelter only for themselves.
A safe and dignified shelter was needed for exactly that kind of situation, thus, Homeward Hounds was created!
It Takes A Village
Of course, with any great idea, there has to be a team to help make it happen. HBGV collaborated with Roice-Hurst Humane Society, Petsmart Charities, and the Abram and Ray Foundation to make their project a reality.
With generous funding from Petsmart Charities and the Abram and Ray Foundation, 10 pallet shelters were bought and an enclosure was built right next to the HomewardBound shelter in Grand Junction.
All About the Pallet Shelters
Each 8x8 pallet shelter provides those experiencing homelessness a safe and private space to stay with their pet. Heating and air are just a few of the amenities available inside the pallet shelter. Applicants are thoroughly screened and must adhere to the community rules.
Pets must weigh under 80 pounds, and only 1 person can stay in a pallet shelter unless it is a couple. The Roice-Hurst Humane Society also contributed a pet pantry that will remain stocked, and they will also administer free pet vaccines. In addition, pets can be provided with basic veterinary exams and care.
More to See!
Keep scrolling to check out what went down at the grand opening!