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  • Writer's pictureOutreach

When I’m here, it feels like family


Imagine being young. Experiencing homelessness. And unable to obtain the one key that unlocks the door to so many things in life: a legal ID. At 15, Katlyn found herself caught up in this Catch-22 trifecta.

Fortunately, Outreach was here to provide the lifeline for many of Katlyn’s needs.

Katlyn first came to Outreach three years ago; at the time, she had been experiencing homelessness for nearly a year. Out on the streets, Katlyn started hearing about Outreach but wasn’t exactly sure who we were and how (or even if) we could help her. She finally decided to find out more, connected with us - and discovered a team of advocates standing ready to provide assistance in multiple areas.

One of the biggest hurdles Katlyn faced was the inability to obtain a legal ID. Long story short: when Katlyn was an infant, someone changed her name but failed to transfer this information to all necessary documents. This oversight created barrier after barrier for the young woman - for example, when she applied for a Social Security card in hopes of starting the process of obtaining her ID, she was informed she needed the ID in order to obtain the Social Security card! Even a trip to the courts to plead her case proved futile.

Upon learning of Katlyn’s plight, Outreach’s Anthony Dumas accepted the challenge of securing that long-elusive ID. With the help of a Social Security office advocate and two years of perseverance, Katlyn now is the proud possessor of a legal ID, Social Security card and a BMV learner’s permit!

Thanks to these successes, Katlyn has remained resilient and hopeful. And patient - a quality clearly inspiring to other young people here at Outreach. Now that she has cleared the ID hurdle, she is applying for jobs, navigating the housing process and looking forward to the day when she obtains her driver’s license. She practices for the upcoming behind-the-wheel driving test by going on drives with her father, with whom she has reconnected after a long time apart.

In reflecting on her time since first coming to Outreach, and the successes she has experienced, Katlyn says, “Outreach has always welcomed me with open hands. When I’m here, it feels like family.

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