“I was ready to give up until I found Elizabeth Gregory Home. My service animal was going to go to the pound and I was going to go walk into the woods…”
by Lynne S.
My service animal Wigglz means the world to me, but when we first became homeless in 2015 it felt like the world was against us. It wasn’t always this way. After adopting her, I had an apartment, but over the years the landlord let the complex deteriorate into a state of disrepair. Then the complex became infested with bedbugs and the landlord was unable to get rid of them. Wigglz and I were being eaten alive, so I gave my notice and thought it would be easy to find another apartment. That wasn’t the case. In April of 2015, we ended up homeless.
Wigglz may look like a mean dog, resembling a pit-bull, but she is actually an American Staffordshire terrier. While Wigglz’s appearance helped me when we were walking the streets of downtown Seattle, many homeless service providers were uncomfortable with us being there because of Wigglz. From my perspective, if you reject my service animal, you reject me. With the constant rejection on top of being homeless and losing everything, I was ready to give up. I was planning on taking Wigglz back to the pound, even though I promised her I would never do that to her. I even thought about just catching a bus as close as I could to the woods, walking in and disappearing.
I heard about Elizabeth Gregory Home (EGH) and in a state of exhaustion I went there. It was different in a lot of ways. You could sleep at EGH and they served good food too. I came to believe that the people at EGH loved and accepted my Wigglz and eventually I was able to believe that they loved and accepted me, too. You wouldn’t think that being treated with dignity and respect is something rare, but if you are homeless it is.
EGH helped me to get out of the depression I was in and I regained my self-confidence. In October of 2015 I got a part-time cleaning job. My boss, who watched as I tried to secure housing and continued to be turned down, let me and Wigglz move into his motor home until we could find our own place. With Michele Martin’s help, I am confident that it will happen soon.
Update: Lynne is finally in permanent housing that is both pet and people friendly. She still comes in to EGH’s Drop-in Day Center for clothing, food, and household items needed for her home.