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Dégagé Ministries staff take part in Homelessness Advocacy Day

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I work with our patrons to secure their birth certificate, social security card, school records and/or identification. These vital records are important when obtaining employment and housing.
Jennifer and Pat at Homelessness Advocacy Day in Lansing

Jennifer and Pat at Homelessness Advocacy Day in Lansing


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One sunny day in March, Jennifer, Program Director, and I had an opportunity to attend the Homelessness Advo­cacy Day at the state capital in Lansing.

We were invited to attend through a taskforce Jennifer is part of that focuses on challenges and obstacles indi­viduals face when trying to obtain their vital records. As one of the ID Coordinators at Dégagé, I work with our pa­trons to secure their birth certificate, social security card, school records and/or identification. These vital records are important when obtaining employment and housing.

During the Homelessness Advocacy Day, attendees were divided into groups and met with their state legislators concerning homelessness issues. During the day, our group met with Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, Represen­tative David LaGrand, Legislative Director Phil Skaggs, Representative Winnie Brinks, and Adam Erber, an aid for Senator Hildenbrand.

During our meetings, Jennifer and I focused on sharing about the vital records process we walk through with our patrons. In addition, we shared about some of the dif­ficulties we face when trying to obtain vital documents for our patrons.

At the end of the day, we felt that the information we were able to provide will be helpful to these legislators as they consider future support and regulations regarding state IDs and vital documents.

By Pat Rodenhouse


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