1,000 Voices Campaign raises awareness about lack of IDs for homeless

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Homeless ID Project is a nonprofit organization and Arizona’s only full-time provider of identification replacement services for individuals experiencing homelessness. They are launching the 1,000 Voices Campaign, designed to engage the broader community and talk about homelessness.

In addition to generating conversations, the 1,000 Voices Campaign will raise awareness about the Homeless ID Project, what they do and their push to get identification for 10,000 homeless persons. Homeless ID Project Executive Director Rick Mitchell spoke with Arizona Horizon about the details of this campaign.

“If you don’t have an ID, you can’t get a job. If you don’t have an ID, you can’t get housing. One of our clients famously said that the only thing you can get without an ID is arrested, and I think that’s fairly close to being true,” Mitchell said.

Last year, the organization provided 4,000 birth certificates from all 50 states, three of the five U.S. territories and for a handful of citizens born abroad typically on a military base.

“The 1,000 Voices Campaign grew out of a conversation about five years ago. One of our board members said if we had 1,000 people supporting us through the Arizona tax credit system, we could fund our entire operation for a year,” Mitchell said.

One of the main ideas behind this campaign is to let people know they can use their voice in the tax credit system and shift government funds to an organization that makes a difference.

“We took the concept of 1,000 voices and said, ‘Let’s just talk about making people aware of what homelessness is, what homelessness is not, how they can get involved and how they can help.’ That’s what the 1,000 Voices Campaign is,” Mitchell said.

The campaign is just getting started but has recevied positive responses.

“We’ve got to end homelessness. Homelessness can be ended. We have to start there, and it’s not going to end unless we understand it. And we’re not going to understand it unless we talk about it. We need to talk more about homelessness, what it is and how to fix it,” Mitchell said.

Rick Mitchell, Executive Director of Homeless ID Project

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