Tempe Hosts Event For Homeless People With Pets

By Paul Atkinson, Lauren Gilger
Published: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 11:18am
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 2:54pm
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Susie Steckner/ City of Tempe
Volunteer Melissa Rohrbaugh and Elizabeth Olisky, co-founder of the BELLA Project, assist during an outreach event aimed at people dealing with homelessness and their pets.

Tempe is hosting an event on Friday for people experiencing homelessness who also have pets.

The city’s homeless outreach team is partnering with the Arizona Animal Rescue Mission and BELLA Project to provide free microchipping, food, snacks and even booties to protect the paws of dogs. It's taking place at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Tempe.

The city’s Homeless Solutions supervisor Nicky Stevens said this year’s homeless count found 182 pets living on the street with their owners.

Stevens said people with pets are less likely to utilize a homeless shelter or available services because their pets are not welcome. 

The outreach event is seen as a way for the city of Tempe to engage with people experiencing homelessness who normally wouldn’t be interested in available services. 

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