Housemates battling back from homelessness in South Shields give home to rescue dog

A group of formerly homeless people in South Shields are giving a rescue dog a second chance until it finds its forever home.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 4:45 pm

Emmaus North East has fostered Marley, a one-year old Labrador and Jack Russell cross, through Sunderland’s Happier Days for Strays.

The charity, based on Stanhope Road, provides a home to 13 formerly homeless people, along with ongoing support, training and work experience.

Now the residents are returning the favour by giving Marley a home and taking care of her until a permanent place for her can be found.

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Emmaus resident Dean Hope, with dog Marley, who has been fostered from Happier Days for Strays.

Marley was taken to Happier Days for Strays after her family could no longer cope with her, but she is proving a great source of comfort for those at Emmaus North East.

“Marley has a wonderful calming effect on the whole community,” said Lee, 35, who is now being supported by the charity.

“There are a few people being supported by Emmaus North East who have had painful experiences and Marley’s effect on them has been incredible. We all take responsibility for her welfare and can’t imagine her living anywhere else but here.”

Meanwhile, Rachel Eklund, deputy community leader for the charity said there are already signs that Marley is helping tackle mental health issues among the residents.

Emmaus resident Dean Hope, with dog Marley, who has been fostered from Happier Days for Strays.

“For many of the people we support who have experienced homelessness or social exclusion, mental health issues factor heavily. Marley is helping to relieve anxiety, stress and depression as well as increasing exercise. She has fitted in incredibly well to our family,” she said.

“Emmaus North East is a community where people are given a second chance, especially when a first one wasn’t even on the table, so it feels right that we give Marley that opportunity too. She is very much a community dog, with everyone doing their fair share to make sure she is well looked after, she isn’t short of a cuddle or two.”

Wendy Roke, Rehoming Coordinator at Happier Days for Strays commented: “Marley came to us more than three weeks ago and it’s great that we managed to place her so quickly. She’s clearly very well looked after and is enjoying her time there before she finds her forever home.”

Emmaus resident Dean Hope, with dog Marley, who has been fostered from Happier Days for Strays.