One of the most telling measures that our society is in crisis is the rising number of homeless youth on our streets, many of whom escaped drug abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. It’s an incredibility tough way to start out in life.
In 2017 a call went out to help find employment opportunities for homeless youth in Whatcom County WA. There are a lot of good people in our community, and help was immediate. But half those seeking work were unable to accept a job offer because they lacked the ID required to prove they could be legally employed. Worse still, many simply could not provide the evidence necessary to qualify for ID even though they were US citizens.
After talking with people that work in the field, spending time with those that have no ID, and seeing the instant restoration of dignity in the faces of those that have successfully obtained ID, it’s clear this is a significant, growing problem across the country that must be fixed. In fact often the number one barrier preventing a person experiencing homelessness who wants to get off streets from doing so – is simply a lack of valid ID.
The IDtoWork project was founded to help fellow citizens (especially homeless youth), across Washington State gain the ID that our society requires them to have in order that they can find legal employment, become self-sufficient, regain their dignity and once again feel hopeful about the future.
This site is intended to serve as a resource for others that care about this issue by listing news stories, ID recovery assistance programs, research, and links to relevant State and Federal legislation from around the country. If you want stay up to date, please CONTACT US. We welcome submissions of additional material especially personal stories of individuals who understand what it’s like to try and survive without ID.
Rud Browne – Founder, IDtoWork
Click STORIES to learn what other communities are doing.