Imagine you’ve lost your ID.
It’s a hassle, right?
If you’re a homeless person, it’s at least ten times the hassle. There’s no file folder tucked away at home with important documents that prove you are, in fact, you. When you try to get a replacement ID, you’re told you need a birth certificate – and when you try to get a birth certificate, you’re told you need a photo ID.
Project Homeless Connect brings together dozens of social service providers who work side-by-side to cut the red tape and solve problems. People who attended the December 2006 event received medical care, showers, employment opportunities, substance abuse and mental health counseling, legal services, housing and shelter information, vision screening, and hygiene kits, along with breakfast, lunch, meals-to-go and entertainment. With the help of Legal Advocacy at Work, 92 persons obtained photo IDs.
People without photo identification have difficulty accessing the critical services and benefits that help move people off the streets and out of poverty. Without an ID, you can’t stay at a shelter, you can’t work at the labor pool, you’re far more likely to be arrested on minor charges like sleeping outdoors, and you may be turned away from other services.
Help us eliminate the barriers that are forcing people to live on the streets. Give an hour of your time at one of the upcoming Project Homeless Connect events. Or make a donation that will help one person – or 10 – get the photo ID that will enable them to access critical, life-sustaining services.
■ $10 will get a replacement ID
■ $50 will pay for a birth certificate from another state
Project Homeless Connect dates: June 22 at University Presbyterian Church, June 27 at the Sanford Civic Center, July 13 at the Orange County Fairgrounds, and July 19 at First Baptist Church of Kissimmee.