Homelessness and Furry Friends

Nancy Griffin

James was suffering from severe depression and self-medicating with alcohol. His coping method of drinking caused his roommate to kick him and his dog out of their apartment. His roommate wanted him to leave immediately so James went to stay in a local hotel; but he was quickly running out of money.

He turned the Haven for help.

James met with Haven Case Manager, Nancy Griffin, and it just so happened that a bed became available at Hixon House Adult Shelter. Since the Haven’s shelters are not able to house pets or animals, James worried about what would happen to his dog and discussed his concern with Nancy. In her role as a Haven Case Manager, Nancy helps people find solutions to get back on their feet – no matter what challenges they face. Nancy set out to work her magic to find a foster family for James’ dog. Nancy knew that once James got his depression under control, he would be successful living on his own again. After all, James was able to go from a part-time job to a full-time administrative job while he was battling with depression.

Coincidentally, Nancy’s next appointment was with Nora, an animal lover, who was in need of a loan for her new rental; Nora had just sold her house in a short sale. Since Nancy has a therapy dog in her office, Nora and Nancy started talking about their love of animals. Nancy thought Nora would be a great foster home for James’s dog, and Nora took her up on it!

James has been at the Hixon House Adult Shelter for two months and is almost ready to move into his own apartment. He’s getting treatment for his depression, and saving for a deposit on his next rental. He is looking forward to living with his dog again soon!

Are you interested in fostering a dog or cat when a community member needs to come into our Shelter? If so, we’d love to have you on our list. Please email Nancy at ngriffin@uppervalleyhaven.org with you name and phone number.

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