Strategy #15 - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Strategy #15

Simplify personal identification requirements for accessing programs and services.

A major problem that confronts many homeless Albertans is personal identification requirements. Personal identification barriers can cumulatively create a domino effect that makes it harder for a homeless Albertan to secure resources for a home.

Without official identification, a homeless person can not open a bank account at a major financial institution. This forces them to cash assistance cheques at alternative lending institutions which charge higher fees, thereby reducing their resources and compromising the effectiveness of the assistance. Identification is also required to access a range of other privately and publicly delivered services.

Some government services require proof of Alberta residency for a minimum period of time, usually in the form of an addressed piece of mail or utility bill. This can prevent homeless Albertans from obtaining the services they need to achieve stability.

The Secretariat will consult with community-based organizations and social service agencies to identify personal identification barriers, and examine possible ways of working around or eliminating these barriers.

PID: 14624