A Calhoun County program that will offer free vital records to the homeless was unanimously approved Thursday by the Board of Commissioners.
The program, which will waive up to $3,000 in fees for homeless and other customers in crisis seeking vital records such as a birth certificate, will last until Dec. 31. The vote during the board's regular meeting Thursday was 5-0; commissioners Steve Frisbie and Gary Tompkins were attending an out-of-town event for a leadership program and were absent.
Nearly one-quarter of respondents surveyed at the Battle Creek Homeless Health Fair last year said they don't have their birth certificates. Sixteen percent said they had trouble obtaining an ID or birth certificate, and 25 percent said they had been denied services because of not having proper identification.
A group dubbed the Kalamazoo-Calhoun County Regional ID Task Force has been addressing the issue for about a year.
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Contact government reporter Jennifer Bowman at 269-966-0589 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @jenn_bowman. Listen to the podcast she co-hosts, The Jump Page, at soundcloud.com/enquirerpodcasting.