Momentum Continues To Grow In Support Of Initiative To Confront Homelessness

SAN DIEGO, CA: Local business leaders Peter Seidler and Dan Shea announced today that they have partnered with Helen Woodward Animal Center as another advancement in their efforts to transition San Diego’s homeless population from the streets into temporary SPRUNG structures.

Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization in San Diego County that has the philosophy of people helping animals, and animals helping people, for more than 40 years. Although difficult to verify, it is a generally-accepted reality that up to 24 percent of the homeless population in San Diego County have pets that live with them on the streets.

In its partnership with Seidler and Shea’s homeless initiative, Helen Woodward Animal Center will provide health checks for pets including preventative medical care and important vaccinations. Additionally, the Center will provide pet food as part of its AniMeals program.  This pet food will be contributed to local social service organizations, like Feeding San Diego, so that those living on the street would have access to not only food for themselves, but nourishment for their pets as well.

“Pets provide warmth, security, and companionship that the homeless population does not ordinarily receive,” said Mike Arms, CEO of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “We are hopeful that, by receiving these services for the pets, it will be a motivating factor for our homeless citizens to register in a central directory so that we can monitor and assess the needs of this population.”

In addition to these services, the Center will provide Pet Encounter Therapy to the homeless population through its own animal ambassadors at various sites that could be designated by the Center’s partners based on locations where the homeless are receiving other social services.

“Our goal is to reduce the number of unsheltered citizens in San Diego. It takes a multi-faceted approach to understand and connect with this population in a positive way,” said Dan Shea. “We are grateful for Helen Woodward Animal Center’s generosity and for their commitment to help us address the issue of homelessness in San Diego, which is long overdue.”

The initiative driven by Seidler and Shea has raised $1.6 million to buy and erect two semi-permanent structures from Sprung Instant Structures. This is another non-profit partnership Seidler and Shea have created with more to come. Last month, it was announced that Seidler and Shea had partnered with Feeding San Diego to provide healthy, nutritious food, including fresh fruit and vegetables, to the agencies who will be feeding the residents of the SPRUNG structures.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Pamela Gray Payton