Councils pilot initiative to help the homeless secure permanent homes with their beloved pets

Released: Monday, 18 January 2021

A pioneering scheme to help the homeless stay united with their pets as they seek permanent homes has been trialled across the area.

A dog training session took place to help the homeless or those in temporary accommodation increase their chances of finding a lasting home with their much-loved companions.

The session was designed to help individuals show landlords they are responsible owners with well-trained pets, as most tenancy agreements include a 'no pet' clause, making it difficult for many to find homes.

The initiative, organised by Adur & Worthing Councils in partnership with Worthing-based homeless charity, Turning Tides, has been revealed in the February 2021 edition of the ThriveAW magazine.

The online publication, produced by the Councils, shines a light on the work being done by the authorities - along with organisations, charities and businesses - to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities in the midst of the COVID pandemic.

The lead story details the Councils' latest efforts to support those at risk of homelessness across Adur and Worthing this year, as plans are put in place for when the financial support packages rolled out by the Government in response to the pandemic, end.

Sam Bashall, who lives in a Worthing hostel, took part in the dog training session. She was forced to leave her home with her beloved dog Blakey - because her landlord wouldn't allow pets.

Sam, who was evicted from her home four years ago hopes to find a permanent place to live with Blakey this year, said giving up her pup was never an option. She said:

“I was told I could get rid of Blakey or find him a foster carer but that was never going to happen. Our only choice was to live in a tent until we moved into the hostel. Although Blakey's very well behaved, it was good to get help from a professional.”

A new Bill currently being heard in Parliament seeks to end the 'no pet' clause and make it easier for private and social renters to have pets.

Cllr Dr Heather Mercer, Executive Member for Customer Service in Worthing, said:

“As the stories in this issue of ThriveAW show, homelessness is not just a housing problem. There are many reasons why a person may find themselves living on the streets and in need of help.

“As you will read it can be a series of events, including job loss, the break-up of a relationship or domestic abuse. In Sam's case she struggled to find accommodation simply because she has a dog. Read about what we're doing - in partnership with local organisations such as Turning Tides - to help people like Sam to find a permanent home.”

This issue of ThriveAW also sees charities and teams within the Councils discuss adapting their health and wellbeing services, in line with the ever-changing COVID restrictions, so they can continue working hard to support those in need.

Cllr Kevin Boram, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing in Adur, said:

“This time last year, before the COVID pandemic reached UK shores, none of us could have imagined how our lives would change.

“And here we are, as we begin a new year, in the grip of yet another national lockdown. Thankfully we are much better prepared this time. With established support networks in place we've been able to adapt our services to respond to the needs of our communities over the coming months.

“As the stories in this magazine highlight, there's a range of wellbeing support services in Adur and Worthing to help you to look after your health during these challenging times.”

You can read the magazine in full at: 

PR21-009 - ThriveAW Winter 2020 edition goes live

(PR21-009)

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Page last updated: 05 March 2021