My readers proved this to me again last night. A young Oregonian who lives with Asperger’s Syndrome, has lost her mom, and is moving into a group home may not have to give up the cat which has shared her life from age 9 to 22. Why? Because people shared my recent guest blog post published by HealthyPlace.about our rights to emotional support animals in our housing.
The message arrived via my Contact Us page late last night. I could feel her pain as I read it and called her right away. I was able to give her good news and hope by putting her in touch with her local fair housing organization. I should say WE were able to do this, because it took a network to get the information to her. She had been sharing her troubles with a friend in Pennsylvania and the friend had seen my article. She gave her the website address. Who knows how many people were involved in the chain of forwarding before it reached the friend in Pennsylvania.
Earlier the same day a woman who is a Crisis Peer Counselor Coordinator at Spirit Peer Empowerment Center in California read the post after a friend from Connecticut shared it. There are homeless shelters in her area turning away people with psych disabilities because they won’t give up their pets. She contacted me for more information which she’ll use in her work. That prompted me to document the regulations concerning shelters and dorms on my website and add it to my service provider’s page.
So thank you, sharers; you did a really good thing. Let’s all try to do more sharing of good, helpful information.
Image By Yodaspirine (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I've got two guest blog posts published on two different blogs recently. Please take a look and share if you like them:
read the rest at Rx for Joy - Joanne Shortell (this is a repost of an article I wrote about a year and a half ago)
A veteran with PTSD considers living in a van in New Hampshire with his wife, two small children, and two large dogs. He can’t find housing that will accept the dogs he can’t live without. A peer specialist fails to get a homeless woman with a psychiatric disability into a shelter because she won’t be separated from her cat. A woman with bipolar disorder pays hundreds of dollars each year in illegal fees to keep the cat who helps her sleep. These people are real. Their needless suffering and expense occurred because few people understand our rights under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
My current therapist is a nurse practitioner who can prescribe psychiatric drugs. My previous therapist was an MSW who could not. Both, however, could write a prescription for an emotional support animal (ESA). A short, simple letter (see sample below) from a doctor (any medical doctor, not just a psychiatrist) or any therapist will allow a person with a psychiatric disability or a chronic pain condition to have pets in no-pets housing, to avoid any pet deposit or pet fee, and to avoid size limitations or species restrictions.