Advocacy

Join Us to Increase Access to Massachusetts Identification Cards for People Experiencing Homelessness

Join Us to Increase Access to Massachusetts Identification Cards for People Experiencing Homelessness
Last updated November 14, 2017

Obtaining a state identification card is a critical first step for youth and adults experiencing homelessness to accomplish typical life tasks and access opportunities. ID is required for a broad range of life activities, such as:


·         Applying for jobs

·         Enrolling in education programs

·         Getting a library card

·         Picking up a package from the post office

·         Opening financial accounts

·         Entering certain government buildings

·         Accessing services

·         Interacting with law enforcement

Join our campaign to pass legislation to eliminate fees and reduce barriers to accessing Massachusetts identification cards by people experiencing homelessness: An Act to Provide Identification to Homeless Youth and Families, filed by Senator Harriette Chandler (Senate Bill 1906) and Representative Kay Khan (House Bill 2737).

The updated fact sheet is linked here as a PDF and posted below. 

ID card bill fact sheet 11 14 17 1


ID card bill fact sheet 11 14 17 2

 *If your organization would like to become an official endorser of this campaign, please 
complete this form. *

Current campaign endorsers (as of 11/14/17):

ACT UP/Boston
Allston-Brighton Health Collaborative
Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cambridge and Somerville Housing and Welfare Coalition
DIAL/SELF Youth & Community Services
Domus Incorporated
Father Bill's & Mainspring
First Church Shelter, Cambridge
Gates of Hope Inc.
Hearts of Hope Inc.
Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center
Homeless Empowerment Project
Homeless Prevention Council of Lower Cape Cod
Homeless Youth Providers Engaging Together
Justice Resource Institute/YouthHarbors
LUK, Inc.
Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth
Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance
MassEquality
Poor People's United Fund
Samaritans Steps
School on Wheels
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness
Y2Y Harvard Square


The Joint Committee on Transportation heard the House version of this bill on Monday, November 13th at the State House. Read more about the hearing here and testimonies below: 

- Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (and PDF)
- Homeless Empowerment Project
- Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth
- Y2Y Harvard Square

See related coverage on this issue:
- Washington Post: "The invisibles: The cruel Catch-22 of being poor with no ID" (6-15-17).
- American Bar Association:
"Proving I exist: Strategies for assisting youth in obtaining identification documents"(10-2-17).

For more information, please contact Kelly at kelly @mahomeless.org