A New Innovative Service Gets People & Their Pets Housed

Launch Housing started a new pilot project early this year to help people access our crisis accommodation services with their pets in tow. Since the launch of this pioneer Pets in Crisis Accommodation Project we have welcomed nine pets into our crisis services.

For rough sleepers this project hold special significance as pet ownership rates are quite high.   

The majority of homelessness support services don’t allow people to bring their animal companions into crisis accommodation, meaning many pet lovers fall through the cracks of the housing system.

Pets tend to encourage higher rates of positive social interactions as well as help people when they are feeling isolated. The housing crisis has affected so many individuals, with limited homes available so it’s important to embrace existing sources of strength to help people during difficult and vulnerable times.

To ensure the health of animals entering our crisis services we provide support for vet checks thorough a partnership with Lort Smith Animal Hospital, who funds any necessary vet treatments to facilitate entry to the service and have provided generous material aid to our pet owners.

A client had this positive feedback about our new pet friendly policy:

“Living at Launch Housing for months without my dog Gryphin due to a no pet policy at the time was absolutely heart-breaking…Without Gryphin I struggled with motivation. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I isolated myself, and all I could think and talk about was how much I missed and felt lost without him. After what seemed like eternity, I finally got Gryphin back and we were housed. Unfortunately a certain situation out of my control landed me back at Launch.

(Image: Gryphin from the Pets in Crisis Accommodation Project)

I stressed instantly. My heart broke thinking he had to go back to the boarding kennel and I would be without my best friend again. During my second intake, I was told Gryphin could be living with me in my room soon after I move in, due to a new pet policy. I was instantly filled with relief, excitement and appreciation for everyone that had taken their time and energy to organise this opportunity for myself and other struggling pet owners. Having Gryphin stay with me at Launch during my second stay is so different. It’s changed my entire experience and the experience of the residents around me.

He helps other residents with emotional moments, anxiety and depression. Thank you Launch staff and whoever played a role in bringing the pet policy to crisis accommodation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Gryphin says than you also.”

This new Launch Housing pilot project has been truly valuable to our clients and helps to bring people experiencing homelessness and their pets together. As always our main aim is to end homelessness and we do this through agility, innovation and leadership.

Did you know?

There are 24,800 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Victoria. The Australian Homelessness Monitor revealed that Australia’s housing crisis is getting worse and state and federal governments are not doing enough to solve the structural causes of homelessness.