Rough sleepers who have pets can face a stark choice between leaving the streets and leaving behind their companion.
Many choose to stay out of hostels rather than leave behind the pet who has been loyal and non-judgemental during the hardest, darkest parts of their life.
Fortunately, some hostels are able to cater for this: Jamaica Street in Bristol has room for five dogs with their owners. One pair that is now happily ready to move on into their own housing is Laura and Boris.
Boris the dog has been with Laura for 15 years.
“He keeps me together,” she explains. “When I was depressed and anxious, sleeping rough, he was my support.”
Now Laura also has access to counselling, and will shortly be moving into a new home with Boris, who is reaching a very advanced age for a dog.
Unfortunately, one more barrier faces them. Having lived on the street for several years, Laura has almost no possessions, and their new home will be very bare. She urgently needs essential furniture in order for herself and Boris to live comfortably.
Funding from Church Housing Trust means that Laura can buy a bed, some soft furnishings, a microwave, and a new bed for Boris so that they can settle happily into their new home.