Orlando nonprofit helps people in need obtain IDs

Clinic was held by IDignity, which helps poor and homeless communities

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens of people lined up outside the Salvation Army on Thursday as a nonprofit organization helped obtain crucial identification documents for those in need.

The clinic was held by IDignity, which was founded in 2008 as a mission to help the poor and homeless communities of Orlando.

"Identification really is the foundation of our society," Executive Director Michael Dippy said.  "It allows you to get a job, which now allows you to get housing, education and health care. There are just a litany of things that you need proper identification to do."

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer volunteered his time during the event, along with several other workers from the city.

Dyer said organizations like IDignity help support the city's Housing First initiative to break the cycle of homelessness. 

"If you think about it, there's not many things that you can access if you don't have some form of ID," Dyer said. "People that are accessing apartment living need identification whenever they are signing up to get their house."

Kelly Beaver, who previously served in the Navy, traveled to the clinic with several other veterans who were in need of help.

"You need certain documents so you can present them to the people that's willing to help you, so you can help yourself," Beaver said.

As someone who once struggled with substance abuse, Beaver said the documents will help him gain independence and reunite with his family.

"Words can't even explain how much it means just for them to volunteer to help us," Beaver said. "Being able to make this transition smooth is a blessing that I'm really, really grateful about."

IDignity holds monthly ID clinics in Orlando.  The organization also holds similar quarterly events in Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties.

For more information, visit idignity.org by clicking or tapping here.

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