Homely Home

Revolutionizing both human and animal rehabilitation through creation of meaningful, lifelong bonds.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Maxim Alexandrov

Initiative's representative date of birth

20012001

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Russia

Headquarters location: city

Moscow

Where are you making a difference?

At first, Russia - with potential to expand worldwide

Website or social media url(s)

maxim.alx@protonmail.com

Focus Areas

  • Promote inclusivity
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society
  • Revolutionizing veterinary care for pets

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €50k - €100k

Organisation Type

  • hybrid: a combination of different types of organisations, such as a social enterprise (an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being)

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

The idea to revolutionize the rehabilitation experience came to me after attending volunteer work at one of out local shelters. A thousand or so dogs, all attended by four workers and a few dozen volunteers. These conditions were adequate, but there was one major issue - socialization. The dogs came out of the shelter afraid of humans, afraid of other dogs, conditioned by a hostile environment to become submissive and docile. It reminded me of a rehab story, that I picked up on on one of our volunteer meetings. It ultimately boiled into a story of a societal reject, of someone who had their will broken and conditioned to "fit" the miserable, hostile environment that surrounded them. I am inspired to change that.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Surveys have found that, despite reporting satisfactory results, most rehabilitation patients are actually dissatisfied with their experience. Animal rehabilitation has lead most animals into hostile environments. Packs of aggressive dogs are being kept in the same facilities as lost and injured pups. The problem with both human and animal rehabilitation experiences is that none can truly forge strong bonds and feel like they have a purpose.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

In reality, however, it requires creating a friendly community of rehabilitation patients and recovering pets, where both parties care for each other as part of the experience. The ideal vision is a comfortable home for people and pets, whom - as part of their rehabilitation - look over, take care and nurture pets. From those ready to be adopted from shelters to those going through treatments and procedures, this experience would give humans both an opportunity to create meaningful relations - with each other and their pets - as well as a responsibility to take care of their newfound friends; Whilst for the pets, it would be an opportunity to be loved, to see how much a human could care for them - and to learn how much they could mean to someone, while also giving them the much needed treatment and care. With the advent of social media, Homely Homes have the potential to spread worldwide. People can always find both animal shelters and rehab groups where they live - and all they need is to bring the two together under a comfortable roof.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

The innovation in Homely Home stems from the idea that pet care gives people a light in the darkness of misery. Having to care for someone - even a a hamster - creates a need to move forward in life, to make conditions better for them - and in turn, for yourself. The deceptively simple method of combining human and animal rehab is something the world has never seen before - despite it having great potential. To put in in perspective, think of the first iPhone: all the innovation in it was the form-factor of old, admittedly mediocre technologies, put into a much more widespread experience. Homely Home will do just that - combining what already worked, if with varying results - to create a unique, truly meaningful and innovative experience.

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

Homely Home intents to solve major inclusivity and isolation problems posed with traditional rehabilitation facilities - on both human and animal fronts. Rehab attendees are mostly limited to their own circle. They don't have anyone to truly become friends with - and most of their older circles would probably lead them back into addiction. Pets that are recovering from illnesses are particularly vulnerable, and simply placing them back in whatever shelter they came from would only do more harm than good. Dogs need socialization both with their own kind - and with humans. It is a delicate balance, because a dog that has too much human contact wouldn't be able to socialize with its fellow dogs, while one that mostly was around other dogs would be afraid, if not aggressive towards humans. By expanding the barrier for rehab attendees to own and care for a pet, as part of their treatment, this project offers a unique opportunity for both the person and their potential soon-to-be pet to bond and really support one another.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Measuring impact should come easy for small groups. Even if one attendee out of an entire rehab group takes a dog back home, the project has already created value to them. Business success, however, solely relies on people's ability to create goods and especially on their quality. The plan is to include various opportunities for attendees to create - be it woodworking, leatherworking, arts, other crafts - and those goods, at the attendee's consent, would be sold or given away.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

Growing Homely Home would require different rehabilitation facilities and dog shelters to come together. Once both parties have agreed to unite in a Homely Home project, they would dedicate a few of their recovering pets to the project, and then it would be done. Social media marketing could be employed to share success stories across the world, leading people to create more Homely Homes with their own local dog shelters and rehab groups. It could be as simple as an initiative for temporary pet residency near a church, or as complex as constructing an entire facility for a Homely Home.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

A Homely Home would create business opportunities for the people attending them - allowing them to create what they want, and sell those creations for profit; Local businesses would benefit from having a Homely Home near them - boosting sales of pet food, animal accessories, as well as anything a conventional rehab group may require - food, beverages, furniture, etc. Societal benefits should be obvious - the society gets back family people, workers and craftsmen that were lost to addiction. They come back not only well, but also with a friend - or two. By reintroducing people who were lost to addiction and societal neglect back into society, Homely Home promotes inclusivity.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Funding for the first Homely Homes would be secured through local animal shelter and rehab group grants, at first - after it has fully developed, a Homely Home could sustain itself through selling of various arts and crafts its attendees create. As the initiative gains motion, more and more Homely Homes could be funded for by a specifically created foundation. In ideal world, Homely Home Foundation would support and fund local Homely Home initiatives.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

come first in creating a Homely Home. They would be the ones selecting and providing treatment for its animals. Second of all - councillors. Councillors and psychologists that would lead the rehab group. Only after both the animals and the people would be cared for, a corporate team could be assembled. Volunteering would be most welcome and supported from the Homely Home's budget.

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

Should Homely Home receive the prize, it would allow us to further develop the concepts and blueprints of a first Homely Home - luckily, a team of a local animal shelter AND a local rehab group is already assembled - and with it, we could start work on a first Homely Home. A tremendous amount of work would go into creating an "ideal" Homely Home to promote its image, and inspire others to create more of them in their local areas, as well as allowing the team to create more of them in the near future.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Email
  • Word-of-mouth

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Photo of Анастасия n/a

Да, добрый и душевный проект. Поставила лайк!