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Kelly the German Shepherd in front of a Christmas tree

Kelly the German Shepherd in front of a Christmas tree

Dogs Trust Delivers Christmas Hope To People Experiencing Homelessness Across The UK

4 months ago
597 views

Posted
11th December, 2023 19h19

Author
Dogs Trust


The Christmas elves at Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, are busy getting ready to spread Christmas cheer by delivering gifts to the canine companions of people experiencing homelessness.

Every Christmas, through its Together Through Homelessness scheme, Dogs Trust brings festive cheer to the dogs of people experiencing homelessness by delivering canine hampers of collars, leads, coats, treats and toys to dogs and their owners. Dogs Trust has been running the unique service for over 30 years and as well as Christmas gifts, provides free veterinary treatment to dogs whose owners are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, and supports homelessness services to accept clients with dogs.

In recent months* Together Through Homelessness has seen an 82% rise in enquiries, as Crisis Homelessness Monitor 2023 shows that homelessness is on the rise in the UK.

This year, Together Through Homelessness will deliver almost 2,000 Christmas parcels to dogs and their owners at over 215 homelessness services across the UK. One of those services to benefit is St Mungos, which runs homelessness services across the UK. Janet, Project Manager at St Mungo's says:

‘’I manage a supported housing hostel for single homeless people, where we can accommodate up to five dogs at any time. Dogs Trust have been supporting our service users for many years with Christmas gifts, which means a great deal to them. The bond with their dog is often the one true relationship that many of our clients have in their lives, it’s often their reason to get up every day and keep going. Being able to celebrate that with a gift always bring joy to our clients.’’

Megan Evans, Together Through Homelessness Team Leader at Dogs Trust, explains:

“Everyone knows that the bond between a dog and its owner is a strong one but for people experiencing homelessness, the bond is often unbreakable. Christmas can be an especially difficult and lonely time for people in housing crisis, but the company of a canine friend can often help to ease some of this loneliness.”

“However, thanks to the generosity of Dogs Trust supporters, this year we’ll spread a little bit of Christmas cheer and help almost 2,000 dogs celebrate Christmas with their best friends. Not only that, but we will be able to continue to support them into the New Year and beyond so that more dogs can stay with their owners, regardless of their housing situation”.

In a recent survey of professionals supporting those experiencing homelessness, 70% told Dogs Trust that their clients had experienced barriers for accessing homelessness services because they have a dog. Further to this, 84% were aware of one or more cases where someone had refused an offer of temporary or emergency accommodation as it would have meant giving up their dog. Dogs Trust’s Together Through Homelessness works directly with homelessness services to support them to become dog friendly by providing bespoke support and ongoing advice on everything from dog-friendly policies to behaviour resources. The project also provides starter packs of dog items to help new dogs feel welcome at homelessness services.

To support Dogs Trust Together Through Homelessness and help dogs and their owners who are experiencing homelessness, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/how-we-help/hope-project/donate


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