One of the biggest obstacles for people facing homelessness is small and surprising.

Date: June 2, 2015

If you’re facing homelessness and trying hard to get back on your feet, the challenges you face are endless. But the first thing you need may not be what you would expect. While things like finding housing, applying for a job, receiving temporary government assistance are all important steps to take, there is one critical and required step in order to continue the journey toward stability and self-sufficiency – obtaining a state ID.

This small plastic identification card is more difficult to get for someone facing homelessness than you might think. In order to obtain an ID, you must have a social security card and birth certificate, and to obtain either of those documents, what do you need? Identification issued by the State.

In hopes of finding stable housing for her disabled sister, Amy, Jeanette called the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline. Jeanette was living in Section 8 housing and wanted Amy to move in with her. However, Amy was unable to fill out an application without an ID. Amy even had months of back pay from temporary government assistance but was unable to open a bank account or cash the checks, because she did not have the proper identifications.

The 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline was not only able to assist Amy in obtaining a special type of ID for people experiencing homelessness, 2-1-1 also helped her obtain a verification of homelessness letter as well as a step by step guide for getting all of her forms of identification. Within weeks, Amy had all of her required IDs, opened a bank account, deposited her checks and is now living in a stable home environment.

At Project Homeless Connect, a day-long resource fair to assist the homeless on their journey to stability, United Way of Central Maryland and 2-1-1 have helped more than 2,000 individuals obtain IDs. This year, we’re looking forward to serving even more people in the homeless community with comprehensive services including ID’s, housing, food, hygiene services and access to dental and health care.

If you would like to be part of this year’s Project Homeless Connect as a volunteer, save the date for Thursday, September 24. More information and registration will be posted on our website in August.

Leave a comment

© 2021 United Way of Central Maryland | Privacy Policy | Donor Privacy Policy | Client Privacy Policy | Annual Report | Strategic Plan

For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Maryland.

United Way of Central Maryland is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization! | Tax ID: 52-0591543