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FEBRUARY 7, 2022

My Dog Is My Home Hosts Second Annual Conference Promoting Co-Sheltering of People Experiencing Homelessness with their Animals

NEW YORKMy Dog Is My Home (www.mydogismyhome.org), a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and their companion animals, announced their second annual Co-Sheltering Conference. This year’s theme is “Stronger Together: Building Allyship Between Movements,” which will focus on how co-sheltering people and their companion animals together fits into achieving a more just society.

The virtual event will be held March 1 to March 3, 2022 via Zoom and is sponsored by Maddie’s Fund, PetSmart Charities, and Urban Resource Institute. The keynote speaker is Julián Castro, former HUD Secretary under President Barack Obama, former mayor of San Antonio, TX, and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Other keynote panelists include: Marilou Chanrasmi, a tribal liaison focusing on providing veterinary care to animals of community members of tribal nations; Dorothy Edwards, a member of the national Board of Directors for the Corporation for Supportive Housing who has lived experience of homelessness; Sterling Davis, founder of the nonprofit TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions; Dr. Benjamin Henwood, PhD, LCSW, a recognized expert in health and housing services research connecting clinical interventions with social policy; and Dr. Daniel Brisson, Director of the Center on Housing and Homelessness at University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work.

Christine Kim, Founder of My Dog Is My Home, remarked, “It’s important for homeless shelter providers to realize that many people experiencing homelessness also have companion animals who are their only family. Often, they are forced to choose between shelter and their animal. That choice is comparable to choosing between a roof over your head and your child. No one should have to face this ultimatum. Our goal is to work with shelters and governments to provide a housing solution that includes the co-sheltering of people and animals together.”

Founded in 2016, My Dog Is My Home believes that partnering with Maddie’s Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals; PetSmart Charities; and Urban Resource Institute for this year’s conference will not only bring much needed awareness but also promote significant change to the shelter system.

More information can be found at: https://www.mydogismyhome.org/2022-cosheltering-conference


Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1980 committed to a world free of domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and trauma, where individuals, families, and communities are safe, stable, and thriving. URI is the oldest licensed provider of domestic violence shelter and services in New York State and the largest provider of domestic violence shelter services in the U.S. and a leading provider of shelter and services for homeless families. URI provides services to over 40,000 individuals annually, including prevention, intervention, shelter and direct services in more than 20 locations around New York City, with accommodations for some 1,200 domestic violence victims and nearly 1,000 homeless individuals every night. URI is recognized as a thought-leader across the U.S. and beyond, in particular on the intersection of domestic violence and pets. The pioneering URI signature program People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) is the only program of its kind in New York City and the largest in the U.S. to provide co-living shelter for domestic violence survivors and their pets. https://urinyc.org/.

Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $255 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources, and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need, and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.

PetSmart Charities is the leading funder of animal welfare in North America. They have granted over $500 million to change-making organizations that help transform the lives of pets who love them. Their commitment to pet adoption, support for pet owners in need, and pet education are just a few of the ways in which they work daily to save animals’ lives.

Press inquiries: Sarah Hernandez, Communications Director, at sarahh@mydogismyhome.org; (805) 427-5248

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