Lexington launches new ID Assistance Program for local homeless population

The City is partnering with the Fayette Circuit Court Clerk’s office to launch a new program that offers assistance to local homeless citizens in need of official IDs. 

The Homeless ID Assistance Program will provide funding that will cover the cost of obtaining state-issued identification cards for homeless citizens who cannot otherwise afford them. The program is the first of its kind in the state, and will officially launch Aug. 6. 

“Not having an ID can make it virtually impossible to escape homelessness,” said Polly Ruddick, director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention. “Without an ID, individuals cannot secure jobs or housing. They are also unable to open a bank account or be eligible for federal, state or local programs that offer assistance, such as food stamps or disability benefits.”

To be eligible for the program, a person must have a Social Security card and birth certificate. The person must also connect with a case manager at a local shelter or day center in order to fill out paperwork that verifies they are homeless. Case managers will also actively work to seek out individuals at shelters who are eligible for the program. 

To obtain official identification, the person must simply take all three documents (Social Security card, birth certificate, letter certifying that they are homeless) to the clerk’s office and they will be given a state-issued ID. 

“The Office of the Circuit Court Clerk is proud to partner with the City to provide ID’s for homeless citizens,” said Vincent Riggs, Fayette Circuit Court Clerk. “Our office understands intimately the barriers that are created when an individual does not possess a government-issued ID, and we will do all within our power to eliminate even one obstacle for those we serve.”

The clerk’s office will maintain a record of all the IDs issued each month through the Homeless ID Assistance Program, and the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention will then provide payment to fund the cost of the IDs.

For more information on the City’s efforts to reduce and prevent homelessness, visit lexingtonky.gov/ohpi.

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