Gary did six months of jail time for unpaid fines and court costs. He had a job and his own place lost it all. Gary ended up homeless on the streets of Chicago.
Gary was staying at a downtown Chicago homeless shelter. They make everyone put their belongings in one room overnight. Gary’s backpack was stolen. They while riding the train, Gary was robbed and lost everything including his identification and social security card.
Not having ID can make it virtually impossible to escape homelessness. It means being shut out of federal, state and county buildings, where social services agencies that help the homeless are often located. It makes it much harder to get a job, find a place to live, open a bank account, get food stamps and disability benefits — or in some instances, even stay at a homeless shelter.