Meeting People Where They’re At: Pets and Possessions Included


“When I was experiencing homelessness, my things were my life, it was all I had.” Shane, VOA Outreach and Housekeeping Manager, has a great understanding of what the guests at the Nevada Cares Campus, our community’s emergency low-barrier shelter for those struggling with homelessness, are going through. Everything she had, she carried with her, including journals that she wrote notes in for each of her children.

As she looked around the Possessions Room, Shane showed the pride she has for her job. Allowing guests to keep their most important possessions gives the Cares Campus a better sense of peace and safety. Upon intake, each guest is given a spot in the storage room to organize their belongings and keep them safe. The room is staffed 24/7, and guests can access their boxes whenever they need.

What’s more, guests at the Cares Campus can keep their pets with them once they have received their proper vaccinations. For individuals like Roxanne, whose dogs Sammy and Happers are her whole world, this makes all the difference. If the shelter had not allowed her dogs, she says, she would never have come in. Thankfully, at the campus, she has found the services she needs to get back on her feet and will soon transition to independent living.

By allowing guests to enter the shelter with their pets, possessions, and partners, we are able to better serve them and help them in their journey from homelessness to independence.

*Learn more about our work at the Cares Campus and our partnership with Washoe County: