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Geri lived in a beautiful two-story house. The owner said no dogs. Geri kept her dogs and gave up the house. She now lives in a tent encampment in Oakland, California.

When I speak at colleges and conferences I’ll often ask people to raise their hand if they love their pets. Almost everyone raises their hand. I then ask the room who wants to get rid of their pets. No one responds. People love pets! Animals become family, and to a homeless person, the unconditional love received from a pet means everything!

Homeless people with pets do not want to give up their pets to go into a homeless shelter.

Geri has been homeless for some time. She’s lived in this tent camp for about a year. Geri says she survives daily. She continues that every single day you wake up with a plan and then life changes.

Geri says the public should give homeless people a chance. She says homeless people need a hand up. As one friend recently said to me, you can’t bootstrap without the boots.

Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

Invisible People


We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Until then, we strive to be the most trusted source for homelessness news, education and advocacy.

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