Navigating the roads of homelessness, addiction and mental health treatment, people are falling through the cracks. In Recovery housing we often work with folks who are indigent and homeless and have no identifying documents in their possession. People who end up on the streets get into situations where they sometimes lose their identification, birth certificate, Social Security card and have so much trouble getting new copies, that they give up. Leaving them to fall completely through the cracks of society. Making it almost impossible for them to live and function as a stable person.
Things We Need
Recently I was working with an individual who was born in Florida. This person came to us by way of Kentucky. When our peer recovery supporter reached out to check in, it was found that the client was running into barrier after barrier trying to get his birth certificate. He had lost all forms of identification except for a marriage license. He hadn’t even been in the local jail system. If he had, we would have had much more ease in obtaining a birth certificate for him.
Falling Through The Gaps
With an entire team of people advocating and working toward a solution for him, we were still running into brick walls. The bigger picture became clear for all of us. If this is what’s happening to just one person, imagine how many people are going through the same situation. A much grimmer reality is how many people have gone through this same situation but were not able to climb out of the dark gaps from falling through.
In reality it is incredibly important that we do all we can to protect our country and ourselves from identity fraud. We are in turn, making it more difficult for those fallen on hard times, to rise above. Making it challenging for those not on hard times but unable to advocate for themselves to figure out the process of this system to get personal identification documents.
If you encounter someone who is living on the streets. Please remember this and try to imagine these situations that lead them to their current situation. Have Grace and compassion as well as gratitude. Especially in today’s world. Everyone is just a few that breaks away from complete homelessness and indigence.