Social Question

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

Why do homeless shelters require a form of ID to let someone have shelter there? Isn't that MEGA-unfair for anyone down-and-out who has had their wallets stolen?

Asked by EgaoNoGenki (1158points) January 21st, 2010

This brings up a catch-22:

Homeless individuals are more vulnerable to mugging, etc. and having their belongings stolen.

Then when they realize they can’t sleep at a homeless shelter without a form of state-issued ID, they may try to visit the DMV or whatever agency to get a replacement.

Then they find out that they can’t get a replacement because they don’t have an address to get it mailed to!

So without the means to get into a shelter in the first place, unless they live in any latitude south of Oklahoma City, they’ll likely freeze to death in the winter cold.

What a sad, sad society.

(PS: I’m not quite sure whether it’s all shelters or just some.)

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11 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

Plus, government issued identification ain’t free. If you’re homeless, why would you be able to afford to buy an ID card…

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

@lilikoi An even reinforcing point well-made!

poisonedantidote's avatar

seems self defeating and very counterproductive. the only requirements you should have is to not be able to produce one or more forms of a building.

88_Jenn's avatar

Not all shelters require ID. Shelters that house children require some form in order to protect against sexual predators/known felons.

I also wouldn’t call us a sad society when you yourself even say you do not know if it is all shelters with this requirement. It is not our society’s fault.

lilikoi's avatar

That it is a sad society is really his opinion. I think there are a lot of things about the way things work in this country that are sad and depressing. Try watching the movie Food Inc if you think everything is fine. You can’t bash a man for having an opinion, even if it doesn’t agree with you. I think it’s a good thing that he included that last line – he was being honest. I appreciate that.

88_Jenn's avatar

@lilikoi – I definitely agree that in too many ways our society is doomed and very depressing. I think our country and it’s ways of doing things rarely benefit anyone but the lobbyists and their employers. I never said everything is fine.

However, I do not agree that requiring ID from sex offenders to get into a shelter makes our society “sad”. I see that as protecting children who are already having a rough go at life. What is sad is that those people are even in that situation and society pretty much turns their back on them.

liminal's avatar

Not all shelters require ID. Sometimes shelters that ask for ID use government funding and may be stipulated to do such. Government funding often comes with a lot of red tape for charities. It is not unusual for shelters that offer “case management” to assist individuals in acquiring an ID and allowing clients to use the shelter as a physical address. Of course, this isn’t helpful in the moment of need and one can only hope that the shelters requiring ID are networked enough to make referrals to shelters that don’t.

answerjill's avatar

I sometimes volunteer at a homeless shelter. I don’t think that they require ID. They do “wand” all guests to check for weapons, though.

john65pennington's avatar

The identification is required for several reasons. first, like you stated, homeless people are targets to be robbed or worse. without a proper id, the police may not write a report, not knowing the identity of the the victim. second, ever heard of wanted people hiding at a homeless shelter? its done all the time. if a homeless person is supected of being a wanted criminal, the shelter supervisor can call an officer to check for outstanding warrants.

Aster's avatar

I would suspect that a very small portion of the homeless population has a drivers’ license and/or social security card. Very sad.

AshlynM's avatar

What would be even sadder is dying alone and no one knows or cares.

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