GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Roice-Hurst Humane Society won a grant from PetSmart Charities, worth $149 thousand, to blend their vision with HomewardBound’s at its North Avenue location. Homeward Hounds is a pilot program that moves people experiencing homelessness off the street, and allows them to take care of themselves and their furry loved one, but the program also serves a bigger purpose.

“The second, we start splitting people from their pets, we start trauma,” Roice-Hurst Humane Society’s Anna Stout, “What this is trying to do is preserve that: that bond in that relationship between people and make sure that that love for the pet does not lead to having to make choices that compromising your own health and well-being”

One grant brought new housing options to fruition, providing a quality home.

“Between the clean beds, the working outlets, and the use of climate control with the built-in vents,the 64 square-foot area is made for every person and pet to feel secure in their home, but it doesn’t stop there,” Cora Dickey reports, “Having only one way in and one way out, everyone participating in Homeward Hounds can come and go from their four walls, knowing they’re in a a safe and secure area.”

A livable home with warmth, security, and comfort is the just the start for Homeward Hounds. Both nonprofits intend to build their partnership to maintain and expand an ongoing line of services.

“They’ll be able to access all of the other services that we provide and Roice-Hurst provides on their side for the animals,” HomewardBound of the Grand Valley’s Greg Moore describes, “It’s a a situation where all of the kinds of services that somebody might need will be available in one place.”

“We will have a pet pantry stocked here, the vaccines, just that medical veterinary care,” Stout adds.

Homeward Hounds starts off with ten ready-to-live-in units. Kennels are also under construction but this is just the beginning

“Organizations in other communities can take this model and adapt for their needs. It’s very, very cost-efficient, in terms of housing we’re able to provide for the dollar that’s spent,” Moore expresses.

“We have a project that I think it’s gonna be really successful and is going to create a model that could be replicated nationwide,” Stout believes.

The Homeward Hounds project allows houseless pet owners to sleep securely in a private room with their pets – something no other homeless shelter in the country accommodates. The official grand opening for Homeward Hounds December 4th at 4:30 p.m.

Anyone wanting to join or support the program can contact either Roice-Hurst Humane Society or HomewardBound of the Grand Valley.