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Why is Homeless I.D. Project Important?

By Joey Bourgeois, Homeless I.D. Project Assistor

One of the most challenging things to overcome for people experiencing homelessness is Identification. Not only is it hard to get, but it also proves problematic to keep it. The world is becoming more and more security conscious, and for persons experiencing homelessness, this can be a difficult road to navigate when they have no identification.

States require an ID to get a birth certificate, but you need a birth certificate to get an ID. Social Security cards required by employers require an ID, and the cycle continues. This can prove challenging even if one is not homeless, and we haven’t talked about the money involved yet.

The process of getting an ID itself can be complicated. While it is easy to update ID online for those of us who already have it (as well as a credit card), getting new documents (often without internet access) is not as straightforward. Unfortunately, some ID is required to open a bank account and access just about any social service.

Having the proper Identification is the first step that must be accomplished to help build back lives. Without a photo ID, homeless persons often find that they cannot successfully move out of homelessness toward self-sufficiency. They cannot get lawful employment or receive basic social services. They are denied access to certain public benefits, all of which help move people out of poverty. Security measures prevent them from getting an ID, but the very lack of ID exacerbates and perpetuates their homelessness. It is, therefore, critical that persons experiencing homelessness and other low-income people are able to obtain identification.

We have partnered with the Homeless I.D. Project to provide this needed service and to simplify the process of obtaining I.D.’s for the homeless so they can begin their journey to success.

  • We provide this service every Tuesday from 11a.m. to 4p.m.

  • We acquire the needed information from clients.

  • We then send that to Homeless I.D Project who completes the process and pays any fees needed. The documents are then mailed to Cornerstone Mission in the name of the person who applied for the them.

There are many different scenarios for acquiring a document. If a person had an Arizona I.D. or Driver’s License in the past, it could be as simple as submitting online for a new copy. Or, it could be a lengthy process beginning with a birth certificate. Every person is different with a new set of needs. We are here to assist them through the process along with Homeless I.D. Project.

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