My Dog Is My Home's mission is to increase access to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness with animals.
My Dog Is My Home is a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness with companion animals. By securing their ability to maintain their most important relationships and find adequate shelter, we ensure every family’s right to build a home.
We assist service providers like homeless shelters in expanding their programming to allow humans and their companion animals to remain together. My Dog Is My Home’s programs currently fall into three categories: storytelling, community building, and technical assistance.
Storytelling is at the foundation of our work. We believe that people who are impacted by the problem are necessarily close to the solution. My Dog Is My Home provides a platform for people with actual lived experience of homelessness and animal companionship to share in their own words how co-sheltering people and animals together contributes to ending homelessness. Through exhibitions, speaking events, and video or narrated images, we are able to educate members of the public, program administrators, and policymakers about preserving the human-animal bond in circumstances of homelessness.
We believe in the mantra that we are “stronger together.” My Dog Is My Home holds space for members of the homeless services and animal welfare communities to come together to connect, learn from one another, and solve mutual problems. Most notably, our community building efforts have created two related but distinct stakeholder watering holes:
1) Annual Co-Sheltering Conference
Since 2021, My Dog Is My Home’s annual conference has drawn 400-500 people together from across disciplines to hear from homeless shelter programs about co-
sheltering models in practice, latest research in homelessness and animal companionship, and relevant policy efforts across the US and globally.
2) Co-Sheltering Collaborative
The Co-Sheltering Collaborative is a peer-to-peer learning network with membership that
spans across animal welfare and homeless services. This Collaborative meets as a large group on a quarterly basis to exchange resources, troubleshoot, and hear presentations from members on the progress of their work. In between large group meetings, working groups meet to produce deliverables that work towards collectively developed goals. The Collaborative also provides a sustained community for attendees of the annual conference.
My Dog Is My Home also works with homeless shelters that need more hands-on assistance with developing or implementing co-sheltering. We provide customized training, consultation on policies, and resource coordination to ensure a successful co-sheltering program.