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Friday, May 13, 2011

Home Van Pet Care Project Newsletter

Home Van Pet Care Project Newsletter, May 2011
From Elizabeth Howard, Project Coordinator

April 2011 marks our fourth year as a pet care project for pets of the homeless people. Our model has been the Home Van itself, a local project that feeds the homeless and hungry people. We admire and respect Home Van founders Arupa and Bob Freeman as well as the Home Van troop of volunteers and hope we can help as much as they have. See Info Sheet #2 on our blog, "History of Home Van Pet Care Project".

In order to celebrate properly, we filed our application for Federal tax deductible status (generally referred to as “501c3”). This is a paperwork nightmare, but fortunately we had help, and our application was filed on April 12, 2011. Approval can take several months, and in the meantime we will utilize our Florida non-profit corporation, Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., for financial donations and to assure accountability. We have also established a PayPal account for convenient donating. You can find it on our blog, at

Our primary mission remains the distribution of pet food to homeless people. All our pet food comes to us by donation and we never have too much, all donations are welcome. All our thanks go to volunteers and supporters who continue to give and help and wish us well in our efforts.

A BIT ON THE DOWNSIDE: Our cat colony campsite in Tent City was vandalized recently. Tarps were torn off of tables and everything was thrown around. Fortunately the cats were not injured, but it was shocking to enter the campsite and see the mess that was made. The property owner gives us this area for feeding the cats, and we have helpers on the property. We need more people to visit and give treats and generally keep an eye out for the safety of the cats. Can you volunteer for this? See contact information below.

There are also two dogs in Tent City who need a foster home for about two weeks, while their owners are away. They need a fenced yard where they can run. Their names are Bigger and Nip Nip, and they are friendly, well behaved dogs who you will like.

A BRIEF DIGRESSION: Two years ago, everyone was evicted from our largest Tent City, down south Main Street area. That is where we have our cat colony as well as dogs and cats living with their people and where we as volunteers have spent a lot of time. Gradually, people have moved back in, with permission required from the property owner and supervision of Gainesville Police Department.

Here we have a neighborhood, where there is sometimes vandalism, sometimes violence, sometimes addictions and so on. On the other hand, there are people who live in peace and care for each other and the property. Some people are likeable and some not so much. Some people take wonderful care of their animals and some not so good. The homeless life is difficult and we will probably never know exactly how to help. But we can help with the animals, and we will help you if you want to come into the tent areas on behalf of Home Van Pet Care.

We distribute pet food in several other areas, including downtown at the library on Wednesdays, at other campsites and by giving food to volunteers who travel to other parts of Gainesville. Our goal is to provide more food for more animals in need.

For more information, to volunteer, to donate pet food and supplies, call Elizabeth Howard, Coordinator, 352-473-9423, Financial donations can be made payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., and mailed to P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville, FL 32604, or sent through our PayPal on our blog at

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