Catholic Community Services rolls out ID system for homeless people in SLC

Posted at 7:04 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 21:23:28-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Catholic Community Services is rolling out a new identification system aimed at giving the homeless community better opportunities to get back on their feet.

The Homeless Management Information System will link homeless people in the state of Utah to a database based off new ID cards, which are issued like driver's licenses. The cards themselves only contain the person's name and picture, but the bar code will allow employees at the homeless shelters to have access to a person's background.

"Anyone who would see this card that’s a provider for homeless services, could look up that number and know what services they've been provided,” said Dennis Kelsch, the Director of Homeless Services.

James Martin is a single, homeless father living in Salt Lake City. He said he picked up his card already and is looking forward to using it at homeless resource centers to improve his job prospects.

"Before, the lines to get in were long," Martin said. "They used to have to look up everybody in a big binder and it took forever to just move two feet in a line."

Additionally, Martin said that the ID cards will keep some people out of the resource centers that shouldn't be using the centers in the first place.

"Those are usually the kind of people down here to create trouble," he said.

Homeless Services employees say that these IDs aren't government IDs, but they could get the homeless folks into the DMV offices in order to get state-issued IDs.