Homelessness is a difficulty that every part of the country faces. On a local scale, it is a cycle that has continued for too long, one the Phoenix community has seen and is breaking together. Valley of the Sun United Way and The Homeless ID Project are two of the many organizations and businesses that are trying to end poverty and homelessness. The Homeless ID Project takes a whole new meaning to starting from the beginning in order to break the cycle.
It was founded 30 years ago in 1988. The Founder of the organization, Reverend Roseberry, decided to spend 30 days homeless to experience the hardships that someone experiencing homelessness might encounter. One of the most under noticed issues of people experiencing homelessness that Reverend Roseberry gathered insight on during his own experience is that, people need jobs, yet many homeless individuals do not have the proper documentation to receive a job. This issue is one that the Reverend knew needed to be addressed.
The Homeless ID Project helps individuals to obtain replacement identification by providing a voucher to cover the cost of the ID along with a bus pass to get this individual to the MVD. However, a homeless individual who has not had a State ID in Arizona will need a birth certificate issued by the state in which they were born and one other form of identification in order to get an Arizona ID. The Homeless ID Project works with all 50 states and all US territories to obtain the replacement documents, covering all fees, and then provides the necessary voucher to obtain the ID. In addition, many homeless families need birth certificates for each member of the family in order to qualify for housing, medical and nutritional assistance and even school enrollment.
With the help of amazing partners such as United Way, UMOM, Human Service Campus, and Family Housing Hub, The Homeless ID Project has been able to reach a larger number of people by working through these other organizations by partnering at events such as United Way’s Project Connect.
Many different circumstances can leave someone in a position where they no longer have proper identification documents that are needed to do many necessary things, such as enrolling children in school or receiving a job. Many people in Maricopa County experiencing homelessness do not have an ID or birth certificate, but through the partnership of United Way and The Homeless ID Project, this is now a resource that is more accessible to a larger population of homeless individuals. Documentation is the first step for individuals to get back on their feet.
To join the fight to end homelessness, donate to United Way today to help the members of the Phoenix community take that first step to breaking the cycle.