Posted on 21 June 2017

Birmingham Hostel offers room to man and his best friend

For some who are homeless their best friend and loyal companion is their dog, and life would not be the same if they didn’t have their four legged friend by their side.

When they have to decide between a roof over their heads or their trusted companion, it can be one of the most heart breaking decisions; with some choosing homelessness because they simply cannot be parted from their pets.

In the centre of Birmingham Trident Reach have a homeless hostel, Washington Court that offers room and shelter for up to 101 people. After coming across many people that, until recently, they were unable to accommodate because of their pets, the hostel arranged for the provision of two of their rooms to be occupied by those with dogs. To ensure that these changes are right for their residents and the wellbeing of the dogs, they have taken this on as a six month trial period and if it is proved to be successful, Trident Reach will look at increasing the amount of pet friendly rooms at Washington Court and extend it to one of their second stage hostels. Hostels that offer rooms to those with pets are very rare within the region with only one other shelter currently housing people and their pets.

Rob Evans, Service Lead within Trident Reach’s Homeless Service said, “We are four months in to the trial and we are already seeing the benefits. Accepting dogs here at Washington Court has allowed us to support some residents who had been rough sleeping for an extended period of time and without this trial, may not have been able to access support services.”

Clive Wilson and his dog Bruno (pictured) have been residents at Washington Court for three months. Clive, who is a Qualified Engineer said, “I suffered a knock back when I endured a serious injury to my hand following a motorbike accident. Due to the permanent damage to my hand, I lost my job which also resulted in me losing my home. Bruno came along when I was at my lowest point; he gave me a lifeline and sense of responsibility. He’s been with me for 11 years now and I am so happy that he is able to stay with me.”

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and need support, contact Trident Reach on 0121 633 4633 and speak to a member of our Homeless Support Services team.