Stroud house opens for homeless people with pet dogs

Maggie Davies

A former Salvation Army minister’s home has been converted into house for homeless people with pet dogs.

BBC News reports that Citadel House in Stroud will offer temporary accommodation to eight people.

It has been repurposed after being bought by Gloucester City Homes (GCH), using a Stroud District Council grant.

GCH says pets can be a barrier to accommodation and some people would rather stay on the street than give up their pet to qualify.

Michael Hill, GCH director of assets, said: “Within the Stroud area, there are significant numbers of people awaiting one-bedroom accommodation.

“This specialist support will provide not only a temporary safe haven for those people at risk of rough sleeping, but a route into permanent housing.”

‘Dogs help people cope’

The district council housing committee chairman Mattie Ross said being able to keep their pet was important for many homeless people.

“Being able to keep a much-loved dog plays a big part in helping people cope and deal with their difficulties, with the right support,” she said. “I am really pleased to see partners working together on this project which complements the extensive work we do to tackle homelessness in the district.”

Citadel House, dating from 1797, was formerly the local Salvation Army minister’s residence and in recent years has only been used for community activities.

Abigail Owens, of Dogs Trust, said: “Many dog owners experiencing homelessness are forced to make the heart-breaking decision to give up their beloved pets just so they can have somewhere safe and secure to sleep. “We don’t think anyone should have to choose between a bed or their faithful friend.”

(Story source: BBC News)

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