Proven Strategies

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COVID-19: Preparing for the Housing Crisis

Elise Traub, Best Friends' Senior Director of Legislation and Advocacy, leads a panel of housing and eviction experts from both the animal welfare and public housing fields. Their discussion includes how to get ahead of the curve, how to support families in crisis, and how to keep pets and families together.

Our guests for this town hall included:

  • Elizabeth Oreck- national manager, Puppy Mill Initiatives, Best Friends Animal Society
  • Flora Arabo- National Director for State and Local policy, Enterprise Community Partners
  • Shannon Glenn- Executive Director, My Pit Bull is Family
  • Subi Ambrose- Executive Director, Matrix Housing Services

  • Elizabeth Oreck:
    • Tell us a little bit about how Best Friends is increasing focus on pet-inclusive housing programs?- 02:16
  • Flora Arabo:
    • Tell us a little bit about Enterprise Community Partners and your work there?- 08:03
    • As a nonprofit outside of animal welfare, can you tell us about the challenges that families are facing right now during the pandemic and the associated housing and economic crisis?- 10:05
    • Knowing that two-thirds of American homes have pets, we in the animal welfare field know that people losing their housing affects both pets and people. What recommendations do you have for animal welfare organizations on how to best support families who are facing eviction?- 13:22
  • Subi Ambrose:
    • How does Matrix Housing Services help families in transition?- 19:00
    • You do a lot of work with families with pets, which is uncommon in public housing, can you talk about how you were able to bridge that gap?- 20:40
    • With evictions on the rise and more expected, what is MHS doing to prepare?- 23:40
  • Shannon Glenn:
    • My Pit Bull is Family is a well-known name in animal welfare, but for those who aren’t familiar with your organization’s work, can you tell us a little about your background and explain the advocacy work your organization does?- 26:09
    • What kind of guidance and leadership can MPBIF provide for shelters and rescues in those communities where pets and people need support?- 28:26
    • Intake-diversion and owner retention are a large part of operations now that organizations are limiting intake due to COVID restrictions. What pro-active steps can shelters and rescues take today to prepare to help families in crisis?- 29:33
  • Q&A:
    • Is there a way to support landlords so they can house people at risk of not making rent? Do incentives exist?- 31:11
    • What are key talking points when building relationships with landlord to sell the value of keeping pets?- 36:20
    • How can animal welfare leaders determine which housing organizations they can best work with to support housing stability?- 40:12
    • What can individuals do to help keep pets in their homes?- 42:00
    • Who is the best person to contact landlords on behalf of pet owners? Attorneys? Social workers? Shelter staff?- 46:01
    • What is a good starting point, and practical advice, for tackling this issue locally? Especially in small communities?- 51:15






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