VICTORVILLE – The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) awarded Victorville a $15,959 grant to support homeless pet owners in May. The funding will go towards constructing a pet kennel at the $28 million Wellness Center for the homeless currently under construction.
Barrier to Services
According to Pets of the Homeless, a non-profit organization involved in feeding and providing veterinary care for pets that belong to homeless people, abandoning a pet is a barrier for homeless pet owners to use services.
The organization says of the 3.5 million Americans who are homeless, 5 to 10 percent have dogs or cats.
Many shelters and other assisted housing programs do not permit animals on their property. The nonprofit says this pushes potential participants to live in locations not meant for human habitation.
Pet Assistance and Support (PAS) Program
The HCD allocated $1 million in Pet Assistance and Support (PAS) funding.
Victorville’s Wellness Center was one of 35 projects selected to receive funding for shelter, pet food, pet supplies, basic veterinary services, staffing and liability insurance to house pets with their owners.
Victorville Wellness Center
Victorville is in the process of constructing a $28 million 170-unit Wellness Center – located at 16902 First St. on 4.5 acres of land. It will be the first facility of its kind in San Bernardino County. The campus will have a low-barrier emergency shelter, recuperative care facility, medical clinic, interim housing, and wraparound support services.
The city previously constructed a pet kennel at an interim shelter, in 2021, with a $50,000 grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The climate-controlled pet kennel includes an exam room, wash area and space for dogs and cats. It has a fenced enclosure so only pet owners and shelter staff have access.
The Wellness Center is scheduled to be completed this summer.
For more information about the Victorville Wellness Center visit https://www.victorvilleca.gov/services/homeless-outreach/homeless-land-page/city-iniatives/wellness-recuperative-care-center