Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Pine Street Inn’s Innovative Program for Homeless Men and Dogs

Pine Street Inn, New England’s largest homeless shelter, has partnered two often-overlooked constituencies: homeless men and abused dogs. A small group of homeless men–who have individually spent more than twenty years on the street–share a new residence at Pine Street’s Stapleton House with abused and abandoned dogs. A simple yet powerful idea.

As the author, Meghan Irons, notes:

These two homeless creatures – man and dog, both shadows in life – are finding that they have a lot in common – a history of abandonment, trauma, and distrust.

How do these pairings build trust?

First, many of the men suffer from paranoia and other psychiatric issues. Unwilling to discuss what has happened to them, these men often find comfort in animals. The introduction of dogs–and caretaking for the dogs–assists them in the process of opening up and requesting help from the staff of five. Walking the dogs helps the men in conversing with strangers and in building trust.

More about Pine Street’s programs (including how to help) are here.


Filed under: boston, social justice, , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More


%d bloggers like this: