Indy homeless choose cold over shelter to stay with pets

Shelters don't allow pets or unmarried couples

INDIANAPOLIS - A recent story about a pregnant homeless couple has raised support and concern for the homeless population of Indianapolis.

RTV6 spoke with several homeless people living in tents along the White River over the weekend who said they won’t leave unless they can take their pets with them.

Mike Rosser and Kim Cosper live tucked away in the trees along the river.

They sleep, shower, eat and make sure their cat and three dogs have food too.

“They get fed before we do, believe me,” Rosser said.

They stay homeless, even in the cold, because they don’t want to leave their pets.

Shelter rules would not allow them to stay together in a shelter because they are not married.

“I don’t like the rules, definitely don’t like the rules,” Cosper said.

Many made the choice to be out here, despite the more dire situations, and more and more homeless people are living along the river.

“There are at least 100 here when they’re all here,” said Ed Calton of Project Homeless.

Calton understands their plight because he was homeless 10 years ago.

He started Project Homeless to help others.

RTV6 caught up with him as he was delivering pet food Sunday.

“They won’t leave their pets. I’ve got a dog that’s 11 years old, she was homeless with me. I wouldn’t take a million dollars for her,” Calton said.

Calton said some of the homeless do have substance abuse problems, but there are also people who want to help themselves and are just down on their luck.

Rosser and Cosper said it is just a matter of time before they get back on their feet.

“One of my goals is to get a job and get off the street once again,” Cosper said.

There are a few different outreach groups who work to help the homeless along the White River.

Print this article Back to Top