Advocating for Pet-Inclusive Transitional Housing
The Arizona Pet Project staff met with Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) last week to learn more about a new shelter being constructed in Downtown Phoenix and potential ways we can support their clients in pet-inclusive transitional housing, including the development of Bower Park.
Our team understands the importance of including pets in an individual’s or household’s care plan, especially in times of crisis. In our ongoing meetings with agencies like AHCCCS, The Arizona Pet Project continues to advocate for the inclusion of pets when considering pet-inclusive transitional housing and how it promotes stabilization, mental wellness, and companionship for Arizonans in times of uncertainty.
When it comes to providing housing stabilization services for individuals in transitional housing, one crucial aspect that is often overlooked is the presence of pets. Pets can be an incredible source of comfort, emotional support, and companionship for those going through challenging times. Recognizing the benefits of pet ownership in transitional housing not only promotes the well-being of individuals but also contributes to their overall housing stabilization.
Pets Provide More Than Companionship
Pets offer a sense of stability and routine for people in transitional housing. When everything else in their lives may feel uncertain or in flux, their furry friend can provide a consistent presence. Pets rely on their owners for food, exercise, and care, which establishes a daily structure and responsibility. This stability can be immensely beneficial for individuals who may be struggling to adapt to their new living situation.
Additionally, pets have been proven to promote better mental health outcomes for their owners. Research has consistently shown that pet ownership can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. In the context of transitional housing, where individuals may be dealing with feelings of uncertainty and insecurity, the presence of a pet can serve as a valuable coping mechanism.
The Arizona Pet Project’s CEO, Leanna Taylor, says, “by recognizing the animal-human bond as a social determinant of health, we are ensuring that individuals with pets receive the support they need. Bower Park promises to be a beacon of hope, providing a holistic approach to the well-being of both people and their beloved animals.”
In addition to providing services to people and pets in crisis, a key pillar of The Arizona Pet Project’s mission is advocating for the incorporation of pet-friendly policies among human-service providers.
“We’re so excited to have this opportunity to meet with agencies like AHCCC to provide strategic insight into how agencies can ensure pets are included when considering support services for people across our state,” says Leanna Taylor, CEO of The Arizona Pet Project. She continues, “we jump for joy whenever we hear about new facilities or programs that account for two-and four-footed family members.”
Thank you to AHCCSS for their commitment to their clients with pets and for inviting The Arizona Pet Project to have a seat at the table in the development of transitional housing for Arizonans with pets.