Emanuela Visone from Brooklyn New York has put a petition online to help a special pair of friends find their forever home together.
James Wayne has been homeless for 11 years. Most of that time he has been in New York City. His best friend is a 4-year-old service dog, Happy. They have been attempting to find permanent housing in New York, but they keep getting denied because Happy is a dog.
They have been sleeping in subway tunnels to stay warm in the arctic temperatures this winter.
The Department of Homeless Services has been giving the pair the run-around for quite some time now, even though Happy is a certified service dog. Certified service dogs are federally protected, and Jim and Happy should have no problem securing a place to live.
Jim’s social worker is baffled as to why there is such a delay. They turn Jim and Happy away month after month.
“He will not go into a shelter for fear of someone harming Happy which I don’t blame him. Last week, he injured his hand fending off another homeless man who was trying to burn Happy.” – Emanuela Visone
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is legally allowed to go wherever the public is allowed to go. It can be challenging to stand up for yourself when you are living on the street.
“All he wants is the same opportunities as everyone else. He has been passed up and getting pushed aside for months.” – Emanuela Visone
Here’s How You Can Help
Don’t worry; You can help! There is a petition online to help grease the wheels for Jim and Happy and the numbers are getting there. As of the writing of this piece they are nearly up to 168,000 of the 200,000 they need.
“I will not stop until he is offered private permanent housing, but I really need someone’s help,” wrote Visone. “It’s very sad and heartbreaking, this should not be happening. All he wants is a chance to make things better in his life.”
Please sign the petition and share this story with your friends so that Jim and Happy can find their forever home together at last.