One Organization is Taking a Four-Legged Approach to Rehousing the Homeless

One organization is taking a four-legged approach to rehousing the homeless which allows individuals to keep their pets.

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Individuals being allowed to have their pets with them is not something that is seen in all homeless shelters across LA. One organization is taking a four-legged approach to rehousing the homeless.

"In the shelter system, they can't do those things," said Wanda Williams the director of interim housing at Urban Alchemy.

Williams is the director of interim housing at the non-profit that provides outreach services to two tiny home villages and one safe camping site in the city of LA. All three of the sites focus on allowing homeless pets to stay with the residents.

"It matters because sometimes people are lost in the shelter system," Williams said. "These pets sometimes bring emotional support for a lot of people."

NBC4 first met Eric Lawry living out of his van near Echo Park back in March. Back then he was still addicted to drugs.

"It's a long story because of drugs but since I've been here, I've been able to stay sober," Lawry said.

These days Lawry is taking care of his dog PoPo and finding a reason to stay the course of recovery.

"It helped me get my self-esteem back. You lose that, you lose everything," Lawry said.

Dee Washington has been at one of these tiny home villages for six months. When he lost his mom, he found a little dog that has helped him.

"He just keeps me company man, this is my baby right here," Washington said.

Even the dog's name is a daily reminder to fight for his future off the streets.

"Rocky Balboa, I just liked it, from the fighter, the prize fighter," Washington said.

More interim housing like the pallet shelters could come online soon. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 971 earlier this month that aims to improve the supply of affordable rental units that allow for people with their pets.

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