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Cornelius bought a bus ticket in Alabama. He didn’t have identification, but they sold him a ticket and allowed him on the bus for some reason. When the bus changed drivers in Oklahoma City, the new driver asked for ID. Since Cornelius didn’t have one, they kicked him off the bus. He has been homeless since.  

I met Cornelius in Austin, Texas, where he is currently homeless. He actually has been stranded for five years after losing his ID. That may seem like a long time, and it is, but without ID, you can’t get a job or a bunch of other things. It’s also extremely hard in all states to get an ID if you don’t have an ID to prove who you are. For example, I am adopted. New York State will never allow me to see my birth certificate, so if I lose my ID, I am not sure what I would be able to do to prove it’s actually me. 

Over the week, I ran into Cornelius several times. He is super friendly. I am always amazed when someone facing the horrors of homelessness maintains a positive attitude.

Invisible People


We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Until then, we strive to be the most trusted source for homelessness news, education and advocacy.

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