When experiencing homelessness, it can be difficult to break out of the poverty cycle and prepare your mindset for the long term, especially when you’re so used to just surviving day-to-day. When transitioning out of homelessness to permanent housing, here are some tips to best support you and your pet for the future.
Take Care of Yourself
Who will be there to take care of your pet, if not you? Taking care of yourself should be your first priority in this big transition. It can be very difficult as you learn a new way of life. Supporting yourself and your pet financially will help keep you in this permanent housing, so check to see if there are programs in your region that help homeless people learn how to be independent through financial literacy courses.
Understanding finances will set you up for your future together with your pet. If you’re able to gain employment, you may wish to put your new pay towards saving for a place where you and your pet can flourish. Start with creating an affordable budget for rent to help you understand what you can afford and what you need to save. Follow the standard calculation of home buying by assessing your debt-to-income ratio, this process can help in organizing your finances for future home planning. Understanding what housing payments you can comfortably make will help to keep you and your furry friend safe and stable.
In addition to financial literacy courses, there are many programs to help those experiencing homelessness in their transition out of it. One program, called PATH, helps those with mental illness, or who have family members with mental illness when transitioning out of homelessness. While your pet can help with your mental illness, check out programs like PATH to get the help you need, for both physical and mental illnesses you may struggle with.
Take Care of Your Pet
Now, you should set up your pet for a healthy, happy life in their new home! Find a vet close to your housing, keeping in mind if you need transportation to get there. If you have a car, this may not be as much of a concern. However, if you don’t own your own vehicle, finding a vet office that’s within walking distance from your home, or near public transportation, would be best.
If finances are still an issue, there are many financial aid programs available to help those who qualify as low-income. While homeless, it may have been difficult or even impossible to get your pet the healthcare they need, but it’s never too late. Routine vaccines, having them microchipped, spayed, or neutered, and receiving a tick and flea treatment are all important to keep your pet healthy. Make sure to take routine trips to the vet to prevent any health issues from getting worse. These treatments are all preventative and will help save you money in the future, as well as maintain the health of your pet.
In your new housing, you may now realize there are lots of dangers in the home you aren’t accustomed to. To help your pet thrive and be safe, make sure your housing has been made clean and pet friendly. When cleaning, get pet-safe cleaning supplies, as they can get very sick from certain cleaners. If there are any cords in the home, such as electrical or on window treatments, make sure they’re tied up and away. Your pets can get tangled up in them, and be injured. Make sure screens in windows are locked in. Smaller pets, especially cats, love to sit in windows, and you want to make sure they will not fall out. There are many more tips for pet-proofing your housing, but these are just a few to start with.
There is no one-step, easy guide to prepare you for this transition, but hopefully, these tips provide some insight on where to start. Life tends to rarely go as planned, but with these preventative steps and in preparing for the future, we hope you and your pet will live happily and safely.