Alberta Health Services is bringing a Homeless ID program to Grande Prairie in early 2017.
Provincial Medical Director for Addiction and Mental Health Dr. Laura Calhoun explains that the program helps people connect with government identification that may usually have difficulties otherwise.
“It removes barriers that they have to care, it helps decrease the length of stay in hospitals and for some people, it has helped them obtain employment and housing. It really makes a big difference for many Albertans.”
AHS employees work with other entities like Service Alberta, the Solicitor General, Human Services and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. These groups work together to get people documentation and prove their identity.
“They’ve built all these relationships so they can access various data bases and find identification for people. Most people have had identification at one point, but it is proving who they are. That is kind of the magic that they work bringing all of these stakeholders together.”
The program recently launched in Medicine Hat but first launched in 2013 in Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton.
It has helped over 2500 individuals connect with pieces of identification.