A large part of Rose Haven’s Advocacy Program is the direct service assistance we provide. For example, we help women with rental, utility and medical emergency assistance. Another important service that we provide is assistance to replace a lost or stolen ID. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary has been a long time supporter of this program, providing a grant annually for ID and vital record replacements.
This Ted Talk gives a great insight into the struggles our advocates face daily in recovering these vital records.
House Bill 2402 was passed by both the Oregon House and Senate this year, and will go into effect January 2018 so that birth certificates will be free for folks experiencing homelessness.
House Bill 2402 sets up a $50,000 fund in the Oregon Health Authority that the Center for Health Statistics can tap when social service organizations request a birth certificate on behalf of a homeless person.
This is half the battle, but an Oregon ID still costs $50, and can be a real barrier for our women. Many women who are fleeing abuse must leave all of their belongings behind, including ID and birth certificates which are essential for obtaining housing, employment and most social services – including food stamps. ID provides the foundation for women who have been displaced to regain stability in their lives.