Officials in Calhoun County, Michigan, have recently approved a pilot program that will allow those in crisis to obtain vital records and state identification cards at no personal expense. A recent survey revealed that it was not uncommon for homeless individuals in the area to be denied services due to a lack of proper identification.
Modeled after an Oakland County, Michigan, program that has yielded positive results to date, the program would assist homeless populations, victims of domestic violence, and other populations in crisis by waiving fees for vital records. These vital records (e.g. birth certificates) would allow these populations to receive state identification cards, making access to various services much easier.
With the support of multiple public and private organizations, the program is hoped to have results like those in Oakland County, where many participants have found improved access to services and even stable housing.