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Victorville City receives grant to construct a pet kennel at interim homeless shelter

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. — On November 3, 2021, the City of Victorville announced that it has received a $50,000 grant from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for the construction of a pet kennel at the City’s Interim Homeless Shelter at Westwinds Sports Center.

According to City officials, the pet kennel will help eliminate pet ownership as a barrier of entry to its interim homeless shelter.

“We are grateful to San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for their generous grant that will enable us to provide for pets at our interim homeless shelter,” said Victorville Mayor Debra Jones.  “With this necessary infrastructure in place, we will be able to encourage more of our community’s homeless to take advantage of our shelter and gain access to helpful resources they need.”

“The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians together with the City of Victorville champion the city’s efforts to address homelessness and change the lives of those in need,” said Chairman Ken Ramirez. “As a tribal value, we collaborate with our local housing partners and support service providers that work with homeless populations living within our Serrano ancestral lands, including the Inland Empire and high desert region.”

The City intends to convert a 40-foot-by-12-foot modular restroom into a climate-controlled pet kennel that will include an exam room, wash area and space for dogs and cats.  It will include a fenced enclosure so only pet owners and shelter staff will have access.

Policies will be in place governing the number of pets to be housed in the new kennel, vaccine requirements, safety protocols, flea and tick maintenance and client responsibility.  The Victorville Animal Care & Control Division will aid with animal care, oversee critical care needs, and provide free training concerning proper pet care and maintenance to the shelter occupants.

In November 2019, the Victorville City Council approved a Homelessness Solutions Action Plan developed in concert with the City’s Homelessness Solutions Task Force.  The plan is designed to expand homeless outreach and prevention programs while increasing enhanced shelter operations and affordable housing. 

A cornerstone of the City’s plan is the development of a 170-unit Wellness Center Campus on First Street.  Until this emergency shelter and wellness center complex can be built, the City has contracted with the non-profit Illumination Foundation to operate a 92-bed interim shelter at Westwinds Sports Center.  The interim shelter began operations this past June, and the City is using approximately $1 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars to fund the operation.

More information about the work of Victorville’s Homelessness Solutions Task Force and the City’s action plan are available at VictorvilleCA.gov/HomelessnessSolutions.

Community members who are interested in volunteering at the new pet kennel or who would like to make a donation of food or supplies to support the kennel operations are invited to reach out to Amanda Delgado from Illumination Foundation at (949) 273-0555, ext. 201. 

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