Oct 29, 2019
FACELESS IDs LEFT AROUND TORONTO
HIGHLIGHT GROWING NEED FOR DOCUMENT STORAGE
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS…
When a person who is homeless or under-housed loses their ID, they can lose access to other essential service – including housing, health care, income supports, childcare services, or even voting in an election.
Last week we left “faceless” IDs across the city to bring awareness to the importance—and growing need—for our safe
document storage programs for vulnerable people. Follow the link to learn more and help our ID
Safe program meet the needs of our community.
Street Health has left these faceless IDs across Toronto in a campaign to bring awareness to the growing need for our ID Safe program, which has
seen over a 25 per cent increase in clients in the past year.
The IDs look like normal healthcare, Ontario photo ID, or driver’s licenses from a distance, but a closer look reveals a faceless portrait with obscured
description fields. The back of the card sends a clear message: “Losing your ID shouldn’t cost your identity.” along with a QR code that takes
people to our website where they learn more about how the program works and where they can donate to the organization.
The cards were left in common places such as bus stops, cafe tables, and grocery baskets. When the cards were discovered and examined by
good samaritans, they received an educational message: “When street-affected people lose their ID, they lose access to health care, assistance
programs, and housing services. Safe document storage provides stability to those who need it most.”
Losing your ID can lead to losing access to services many of us may take for granted and creates lasting instability for people who are homeless or precariously housed.
Replacing a lost ID from scratch requires the applicant to have a safe address to receive mail (which we provide) and can take up to 8 weeks to process—a long time for anyone to go without access to health, financial, or other supportive services. Street Health provides this along with covering the fees for ID replacement for their clients, regardless of cost which varies across Canadian provinces.
Although our ID Safe program is unique across Canada, and has seen a 25% client increase in the last year, we have seen a significant decrease in funding needed to provide this service. We’re hoping to draw attention to this for both clients who may need this service and for donors who would like to support it.