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Limiting access to state ID cards hinders LGBT homeless youth

LGBT homeless youth who can't get access to state ID cards might be falling short of their potential.
Photo credit:
www.americanprogress.org

Although a citizen is not breaking the law if he or she doesn’t carry a state-issued identification card, they are however required to show them when getting a job, traveling, cashing checks and entering some buildings.

However, there is a problem with LGBT homeless youth not having easy access to them, and that could render them powerless in getting their lives back together.

With no low-cost options or waivers offered by some states (see chart at left) to a youth in a crisis, that person may have difficulty in making valuable life changes that would get them off the streets.

For instance, in California, the cost for a state issued ID is $29, and might be waived, but if the person applying for it is underage, it requires parental approval which may not be an option if he or she has been rejected by their family. 

The Williams institute conducted a survey on the homeless and found that 40-percent identified as LGBT. 

National Coalition for the Homeless says trandgender people are often treated worse than anyone else at a shelter, sometimes not being allowed to enter or banned entirely. 

The Center for Expanding Progress suggests that by giving LGBT youth better access to identification cards could help them establish a sense of well-being and maybe improve their quality of life, allowing them to stand on their own.