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Critical reform signed by Governor Ducey

House Bill 2588, initiated by Homeless ID Project and sponsored by Rep. Reginald Bolding, allows 16 & 17 year-olds in Foster Care or otherwise in the custody of the Department of Child Safety (DCS) to apply for a State ID or birth certificate without a parent or guardian signature. The bill also includes kids experiencing homelessness. 

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Historically, nearly 50 percent of kids aging out of foster care in Arizona will be homeless or incarcerated within 2 years! Some of this is due to the fact that kids age out without documents (including birth certificate and state ID). Documents are the key to continuing with an education, getting a job, gaining employment and having enough good options to avoid the bad options. Similarly, youth experiencing homeless have had limited – or no – access to these documents are now eligible to apply on their own! 

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The latest Arizona Department of Education report identified that more than 9,000 homeless youth in grades 9-12 are living in Maricopa County, and more than 3,000 of these youth are unaccompanied. Of course, unaccompanied youth have no parent or guardian and until now, have had zero access to documents!  

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Our mission is to end homelessness – and to prevent it where possible. This legislation provides the opportunity to stop an unnecessary problem before it starts, giving at risk youth a way to move forward productively!

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As always, we are grateful for your support and humbled by the trust you place in us as we work together to serve our community.

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