Jim was a homeless veteran diagnosed with chronic depression, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Jim was living in his van and had been prescribed a companion animal by his doctor. His companion animal is a gentle American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeus. Jim applied for housing at an apartment complex after he learned he was eligible for $339 per month in Rural Development housing subsidies. While applying, he was informed that Zeus would not be able to stay at the house due to breed restrictions. Unable to function without Zeus, Jim reached out to legal aid. He continued living in his van while legal aid drafted reasonable accommodation request (RAR) paperwork, which Jim presented to his prospective landlord. The landlord claimed that the breed restrictions were due to insurance reasons and out of their control. Legal aid continued to negotiate with the landlord and also sent a RAR to the insurance company, at which point Jim’s landlord reversed course, approved his housing application, and asked him to come in and sign a companion animal agreement. Jim and Zeus now live happily together in quality housing that Jim can afford. Jim said, “if legal aid wasn’t there, I would be living in my car. Anyone who can’t afford an attorney and not sure if they qualify for assistance, should call a local legal aid office and find out.”

Scroll to Top