How ADOT is working to make sure Phoenix’s homeless can get ID cards
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The Arizona Department of Transportation recently joined a new project to help people experiencing homelessness and housing instability get a state-issued ID card. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, people can now obtain IDs at the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix.
The office is set up to work as a “TeleMVD,” allowing clients to conduct various transactions with ADOT representatives working elsewhere. They credit this type of arrangement as reducing barriers that could help them in the journey back to independence.
“Clients who come to us for replacement ID services encounter one more barrier when faced with the 45-minute bus ride to the nearest MVD office. Now with MVD services available on campus, that barrier is removed. This is a huge win for our clients,” said Homeless ID Project Executive Director Rick Mitchell.
ADOT, for its part, says they’ve been working at the forefront to help improve access to MVD services. They said this announcement is just the start. “This partnership is a first step in using technology to expand our reach and get services to the place they are needed at the moment our customers need them,” explained Eric Jorgensen, ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division Director.
Last year, the Homeless ID Project, a nonprofit whose mission is to get as many homeless people a state-issued ID as possible, worked to provide over 12,000 documents, including 8,000 state-issued IDs from the Human Services Campus and in outreach programs across Maricopa and Pima counties.
“You can’t get a job, you can’t get housing, can’t cash a check, can’t open a bank account, can’t enter rehab programs,” said Rick Mitchell, executive director of the Homeless ID Project. “You’ve got to have an ID if you want to change your life.” “One of our clients said the only thing you can get without an ID is arrested, and that’s a clever line, but not far off the truth, as well,” said Mitchell. “
In the past, Claudia Walker-Glass would have had to take a bus 45 minutes away to apply for an ID. On Tuesday, she walked right over, took a picture, and filled out some forms. She can have her ID mailed to the same campus, where she can pick it up in a week to 10 days. “I think it’s good because you don’t have to stand in the heat or wait on a bus,” said Walker-Glass. “You can come here, and they do birth certificates as well as IDs, so now this is great.”
The Homeless ID Project is looking to issue more than 17,000 ID’s this year. For more details, visit azmvdnow.gov
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