By: Katie Powell - Spring 2015 Intern
Before interning at the Homeless ID Project, I knew very little about the obstacles people experiencing homelessness face every day, or of the magnitude of the problems they face just getting by on a daily basis. I did not know that lack of identification is a major barrier preventing many from getting their lives back on track. I was especially surprised to see how difficult it can be to get these documents. While researching other similar organizations to Homeless ID Project in other states, it struck me how difficult it was to get a hold of those organizations by phone. Only a couple even answered at all, while most did not answer or even return my call. The difficulty getting a hold of these organizations made me realize that many experiencing homelessness are not getting the help they need. And the obstacles don’t end there. To get a birth certificate, ID is required. To get an ID, several other forms of identifying documents (including birth certificates) are required. What do you do when you don’t have any? This is a question I watched the staff answer often, when an individual was ready to give up hope. I have learned about the difficulties of reacquiring identification, and I have also learned that it can be overcome. Read More
Being an intern here has helped me gain a new perspective about those affected by homelessness. Many don’t seek resources simply because they don’t know how. Without proper identification, those resources are nearly impossible for them to get anyway. Yet there are no other organizations in the area that perform the same kinds of services that Homeless ID Project does, so I have also learned that there is a great need. People need help to get help.
Had I not been an intern for Homeless ID Project, I would still be completely unaware of what hurdles those experiencing homelessness face. I never would have thought to even think about the lack of identification as an issue. I am grateful for my experience here because I got to be part of an organization that cares about helping people end their homelessness by giving them the resources they need to take their first steps, as well as gained insight about the real hurdles those experiencing homelessness have to jump to get back to self-sufficiency. I will come away from this internship with a new perspective for the private struggles people face every day.