New group helps homeless get identification

WATCH ABOVE: One Halifax group is working to help disadvantaged citizens have correct I.D. Global’s David Squires reports.

HALIFAX – A new group in Halifax is helping homeless and disadvantaged people get government-issued identification.

The Identification Clinic is a volunteer group that aims to provide IDs to those without one so they can participate in society and do fundamental things.

“We pick them up, take them to Access Nova Scotia or wherever they need to go to get identification. We pay the fee and treat them to lunch at Tim Hortons,” said Darren Greer, founder of the ID Clinic.

Greer said there are financial and social barriers the homeless and disadvantaged face in obtaining identification. He said while most take it for granted, not having identification can block you from doing basic things.

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“Things like renting an apartment, applying for a job, opening a bank account, voting. A lot of these things require ID and a lot of these guys don’t have it. So we get if for them so they can participate. That’s what we do. That’s all we do,” said Greer

Greer came up with the idea for the group after he ran into issues renewing his passport. He then reached out online asking for funding to start the group. Soon donors provided the money he was looking for.

He found his first clients by walking up to people on the street, and asking if they needed help. Greer says most have either had their ID’s stolen, lost them, or never had one to begin with.

One of his first clients was sixty-nine year old Dennis Dacey.

“It’s a good thing for them to be doing this, it will help a lot of people because there are a lot of people out there without ID’s,” said Dacey

Dacey had been living at the Salvation Army location on Gottingen Street. He had been without a birth certificate for over 25 yeas and a photo ID for over 10 years.

“Oh, I’m glad to have it I tell ya. I’ve lost it so many times through the years and never had a chance to get it again,” said Dacey.

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The Identification Clinic is just entering its fourth week of operation. Greer said so far, the job has been rewarding and clients are grateful to hold identification with their name and photo.

“They are genuinely happy the got it.”

Dennis Dacey is one of those grateful clients, and said he can finally look to the future.

“I don’t know if it’s a life changing thing but it’s most certainly a very helpful thing and it makes you feel better to know you can produce documents like that. I just found out today it will help get a passport if I want to go somewhere in the United States or something. I’d like to go to Alaska someday and it will be a help for that”

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