We learned this week from Cuyahoga County Council Member Dale Miller that the Council and County Executive have agreed on the County budget for the next 2 years and the ID Crisis Collaborative will be fully funded for a total of $340,000 over 2016 and 2017; the budget for each year will be $170,000, which is the amount we have pieced together for the last two years.
This means that over the next two years the IDCC's 22 member agencies and churches will be able to help about 9,000 people to get about 14,000 documents -- birth certificates and IDs -- as well as to pay for a part time advocate and part time bookkeeper.
Thank you to:
- the ID Crisis Collaborative Steering Committee Anita Branan, Doug Horner and Jim Schlecht, for driving this process through endless meetings all year long,
- to our fiscal agent West Side Catholic Center, in particular Chris Urbancic and Anita Cook, for your work to make the voucher system and accounting work so smoothly,
- to Harriet Petti and Linda Stamm (our former Advocates) for helping to start the process of seeking County funding,
- to member organizations for staff time and for filling in the funding gaps last year,
- to all of our hard-working volunteers and generous donors and funders who have made all of this possible since 1999,
- to County staff members in all departments for their work on behalf of the people we serve and
- to Council Member Dale Miller for his intense advocacy over this past year.
Because of all of this hard work, we will continue to be able to serve people in need to get their IDs for housing, jobs, health care, and more, through the end of 2017!
The above is from Eileen Kelly (pictured above as she won the 2014 advocate of the year).
The ID collaborative was put together by Joe the VISTA years ago at NEOCH. One of the many programs started by VISTAs in Cleveland until the State of Ohio started forcing groups to pay for VISTAs or face strict time limits. We are fortunate to have this program in Cleveland, and we are one of the few cities to focus on this critical need. It is impossible to get housing or a job without identification, and most elected officials don't realize how difficult it is to get a birth certificate for some. There are two issues faced by low income people with trying to obtain identification: first, is the expense and the other is the hoops that you must jump through based on your birth place. If you were born in Maine it is over $60 to get your birth certificate while if you were born in New York City it is difficult and time consuming to get your birth certificate in the mail. It can take as long as four or even six months to get your birth certificates from some states or from the State Department if you were born on a military base.
This is such a vital service for homeless people who frequently have their papers stolen or lost. We have years of experience to help individuals shorten the time and send the correct paper work. This is a really great program that only works because all these providers came together to make it a success. Congrats to St. Colman's and West Side Catholic Center for taking the lead in the essential service.
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