A heartbreaking scene becoming more and more common is the tragic problem of homelessness on our city streets for both humans and dogs alike.When these two lost souls find each other, they discover love and companionship. Often times a dog will help cure the loneliness that a person faces when living on the streets every day.
Many of our homeless will share all their food and water with their dogs, proving that no matter where you live or how much money you have, you still have the capacity to care for someone else.Take this stark image for example that was shared on Instagram. In it, a homeless man is sleeping on the street with his dog snuggled up, cheek to cheek, the pup is fast asleep on his chest. Both covered with dirty bedding. The dog’s dish rests on the sidewalk behind their heads.
The dog is wrapped safely in the man’s arms. His most important treasure and perhaps the last thing he has to hang on to. They can offer each other comfort and companionship when nothing else in life is going their way.
The photo is a glimpse of the tragedy and love that life can bring. But even deeper, the need for these two to care for a rely on each other. Certainly better off together than each one trying to get by alone.
One has to wonder how they came to be in this situation. Did they once share a home together? Did they once share bites of food off the same plate? Or, did the man find the dog along the road and take the animal for his own?
These are the questions that will never be answered but one thing is clear. Despite how much the two love each other, they need help now in the form of shelter, food, and clothes. In order to change their predicament, they need assistance that sadly seems to be in short supply and getting worse.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the impact of Covid 19 has increased homelessness across the United States. Sadly, job loss, shutdowns, illness, and much more have taken their toll:
“Seventeen out of every 10,000 people in the United States were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2019 during HUD’s Annual Point in Time Count. These 567,715 people represent a cross-section of America. They are associated with every region of the country, family status, gender category, and racial/ethnic groups.”