IMPACT
03/27/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Homeless Men And Rescued Dogs Help Each Other Heal

In many cities, owning a pet can hinder the homeless from finding shelter. But a new program out of Pine Street's Stapleton House, a transitional home, brings homeless men and stray dogs in a mutually beneficial relationship. The Boston Globe describes how the dogs, once considered unadoptable because of their abusive pasts, help the men to build trust and open up about their lives, allowing the staff to give them the psychiatric help that the men need.

Specialists have long been providing dogs to other needy members of society, including inmates, parolees and people having difficulty coping with grief or loneliness. Yet pairing dogs with the homeless is new, and Stapleton House is proving that the idea can help out both dogs and men, who despite the difference in their species have a lot in common through their histories of isolation and abuse.

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Change.org reports that a similar program is showing success in New Mexico, where the Santa Fe Humane Society brings rescued dogs to a shelter for homeless and runaway teens.

For the full story, visit The Boston Globe.