If you promise not to panhandle, San Francisco will give you a puppy
San Francisco has an overabundance of dogs who need love and homes, and a large number of people who make their living by panhandling. This summer, the city’s starting a program that could benefit both groups. The program, called WOOF (which, in a textbook example of why coming up with the acronym first isn’t always a great idea, stands for Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos), will pay residents of supportive housing $50-75 a week — about the same amount a panhandler might take in — to foster adorable puppies who need to get accustomed to human companionship.
It’s a great idea, but Atlantic Cities reports that some dog-loving San Franciscans worry about whether the dogs will be getting the best of care. I mean, whose dogs are these? How can anyone just sit there eating while they’re tied up to poles? Who puts their dog on a pole like a stripper?
Not to worry,
Portlandians San Franciscans, the organizers of the program are on it:
For one, Dufty and Katz are working with social agencies to promote the program and identify worthy candidates. The first batch of WOOFers will be individuals already a part of the city’s Community Housing Partnership, which means they’ve been screened to ensure they’re not violent and are mentally up to the job. CHP’s supportive housing units are also accessible 24/7 by staff who could check in on any potential dangers for the dogs. That’s on top of frequent checks on WOOF puppies, according to Dufty.
The pilot program’s set to start in August and run for two weeks to two months. Initially, there will only be 10 supportive housing residents fostering the pups. And if five of them seem to be a twentysomething woman with different false mustaches on, it is definitely not me.
San Francisco Hopes to Curb Panhandling With Puppies, Atlantic Cities.