Community Partner Spotlight: Project ID

A big thanks to Food on Foot Community Partner, Project ID, for providing free identification cards for people experiencing homelessness and poverty during EVERY Sunday Serving event. This is a shining example of the life-changing resources our Community Partners bring for our neighbors in need. 

We sat down with Project ID founder, Kat Calvin who explained the importance that an identification card can play, and the hurdles our unhoused neighbors face when trying to acquire one:

Food on Foot: Describe what Project ID does on Sundays at Food on Foot?

Kat Calvin: On Sundays we meet with Food on Foot visitors who are in need of a DMV ID. We help them get any documents they need like birth certificates or proof of residency, provide transportation to the DMV, and pay for all documents and the ID itself.

Food on Foot: Why is it important to provide your free ID services to people experiencing homelessness? What barriers do they face in terms of making it difficult to get IDs on their own?

Kat Calvin: Anyone who has been the DMV knows that getting an ID or driver’s license is no easy process. You need a birth certificate, which most of our clients do not have- documents are incredibly difficult to hold on to when you are unhoused. If you go to Vital Records and ask for a birth certificate they will ask for your ID. So we have to use different processes depending on the state to get a birth certificate without an ID. We also have to pay usually between $40-93, an amount that is insurmountable for most unhoused people, especially because you cannot get a job without ID. After finally getting the birth certificate, you have to show proof of residency at the DMV which, of course, is difficult if you do not have a residence. And then there is the matter of both getting to the DMV and paying the usually $33 for the ID itself. Between the cost, administrative challenges, and transportation, it is extremely difficult for most unhoused people to get an ID on their own.

Food on Foot: What does Food on Foot and our weekly Sunday Serving events mean to you?

Kat Calvin: The Sunday events are incredible because it is much easier to connect with and keep in touch with unhoused clients when they can meet us at the same time and place every week, and when it is a place that is accessible to them. Working with Food on Foot has made it possible for us to get many IDs for clients already and I look forward to many more in the future.

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