Persons experiencing homelessness and their pets both need medical care, yet many homeless persons with pets face barriers to accessing preventive medical services. These companion animals are often providing important psychosocial and/or physical support for their owners, and the strength of their bond with their pet often means owners are more motivated to seek care for their animals than for themselves. We seek to implement an innovative model for a pilot “One Health” clinic where the homeless of Seattle could seek care for both themselves as well as their pets.
COHR staff member Gemina Garland-Lewis chronicled the stories of several people facing homelessness, and their companion pets. The website EverythingToMe.org tells, in words and photographs, many stories of the incredible bond between owners and animals.
Photo credit: Gemina Garland-Lewis