This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

We at the Center for Justice and Social Compassion have created a pilot program, the CJSC Homeless Law ID Program.

Our idea is to have our pilot program, CJSC Homeless Law ID Program, available countywide in San Diego so that homeless people can get their ID documents and become self-sufficient.

There are nearly 10,000 homeless people in San Diego. About 70 percent of the homeless people we meet need some form of identification in order to become self-sufficient.

Our idea is to provide a “surgical cure” to homelessness by helping homeless people get their personal identification documents: certified copies of their birth certificates, California photo identification cards and Social Security cards.

• Homeless people need ID to get the help that will end their homelessness.

• Getting ID is difficult; it always takes money and often requires legal work.

• Most organizations that provide the support services homeless people need do not have the expertise or staff to also help obtain IDs.

• Our idea is to help homeless people get these essential documents so that they can start ending their homelessness now.

Having ID is the first step to ending homelessness.

Christine Schanes submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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