Many pet lovers would absolutely feed their pets before themselves if they had to. For the homeless, it’s a choice that often needs to be made, but one organization in New York City is helping change that, and more.
Collide, a program founded in 2010, provides more than just food essentials. Medical care, education and supplies are awaiting both humans and their pets in need.
Every Spring through the Fall, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Collide ministry works in conjunction with the Graffiti Church on the Lower East Side to serve a “family meal” to homeless folks and their animals. Resources and services remain available throughout the winter.
“Our clients come from a wide range of backgrounds, with many suffering from very daunting hardships,” Jeff Latzer, a spokesperson for the organization, told Good News Network. “Since companion animals can play such a vital role in peoples’ mental and spiritual health, we see a lot of very memorable relationships, with a lot of clients working to improve their lives partially out of love and devotion to their pets.”
Over the past five years, Collide has helped over 300 animals while actively support about 200 clients throughout the year.
The idea is starting to catch on, says Lazter, particularly in shelters for victims of domestic violence where pets are more often being welcomed.