Service, Companion and Assistance Animals

Stepping Stone’s Policy and Procedures regarding ADA-defined Service, Companion and Assistance Animals

Stepping Stone Emergency Housing understands and appreciates the benefit that animals provide, allowing a person with a disability to participate in everyday life. However, Stepping Stone cannot permit a Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal to accompany its handler if/when that individual becomes a resident of Stepping Stone Emergency Housing.

Following are the specific reasons which disqualify Stepping Stone from accepting a Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal:

  • Stepping Stone does not meet the minimum threshold of HUD’s definition of housing.
  • The public does not have access to Stepping Stone without prior approval for gathering information, touring and/or volunteer work; therefore, the Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal cannot be given unlimited access since Stepping Stone is not open to the public.
  • Stepping Stone would experience undue financial and a significant administrative burden to accommodate a Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal.
  • The handler is responsible for caring for and supervising the Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal, which includes toileting, feeding, grooming and veterinary services. Food is not allowed in any other location of Stepping Stone besides the cafeteria. To remain in compliance with the food service license that Stepping Stone holds, the cafeteria is configured in a manner that would not allow a Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal to be within the cafeteria.
  • The Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal must be under the control of the handler at all times. At meal time, residents eat in the Cafeteria in the lower level. This will prohibit the handler from controlling the Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal, due to previous bullet point.
  • Due to close proximity of others living at Stepping Stone, staff cannot guarantee the health and safety of the Service, Companion/Assistance, or Emotional Support Animal, or other residents, nor guarantee that resident property will not be damaged.