Unhoused Coloradans are seeking help in record numbers to obtain ID documents

A Colorado nonprofit is on track to help a record number of people in 2023 who need help obtaining identification documents, according to a Colorado Legal Services monthly report.

Colorado Legal Services provides free legal help to eligible low-income and senior Coloradans. This year, the organization recorded an increase in people across the state seeking vital identification documents often required when securing housing, jobs and other necessities, the organization said.

The CLS ID Project helped 481 people, who mostly identified as being homeless, with their identification needs in the first half of 2023, the organization said. That number puts the organization on track for another record year with 676 cases in all of 2022, 571 in 2021 and 556 in 2020.

“Most of our clients are those who get stuck in a loop, because people need an ID to get most of the documents that are required to get a Colorado ID, so we are able to help break up that logjam for clients as legal representatives,” said Casey Sherman, supervising attorney for Colorado Legal Services’ ID Project. “And many of our clients are experiencing homelessness. Without assistance navigating the system and paying the required fees our clients are often unable to take control of their circumstances.”

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