Council to vote on giving free photo IDs to homeless

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington City Council could vote in the near future on a grant that would set aside $6,000 to give state issued personal ID cards to people experiencing homelessness.

“It would be the first step to getting back on our feet,” says Debbie Knight.

Knight now stays and works at the Catholic Action Center after becoming homeless shortly after her husband died in 2016.

Adrienne Bush with the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky likes the idea.

“It is so crucial for applying for employment, for applying for housing. The first step in applying is to have a state issued ID verifying who you are.”

A letter from the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention cites a survey from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty back in 2004 that says 54% of homeless people without a photo ID were denied access to housing services.

“The whole idea of expediting that process gets people off the streets, into housing, which is what we all want,” says Bush.

Bush adds that most state issued IDs currently cost $4.

“If you don’t have an income, $4 is a lot of money. Having a state issued ID is something a lot of us take for granted.”

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