5W2A6779It was 8 a.m. on a cloudless May morning, and already the heat was beginning to build on the asphalt outside Chrysalis Center’s Homestead Avenue headquarters. From the upper parking lot, a small army could be seen below assembling tables, erecting tents and carrying bunches of balloons to and fro. On the backs of their matching green t-shirts the word “volunteer” shone triumphantly, and on the front the day’s big question stood, waiting eagerly to be answered: “Are You Document Ready?”

That’s a question that many of our homeless neighbors have heard before in one form or another. In order to access most housing, clients must produce one or more identifying documents, such as a state issued photo I.D., birth certificate, Social Security card or disability verification. Unsurprisingly, after years on the streets and in shelters chronically homeless individuals are often missing one or all of these items. As an issue that frontline staff are all-too familiar with, it was decided early on during the 100-Day Campaign to Reduce Chronic Homelessness that document readiness needed to be addressed in a new way. Continue Reading Here