Founded in 2008 by members of five downtown Orlando churches, IDignity was created to assist the vulnerable populations in Central Florida to navigate the complexities of obtaining their personal identification.
This group of members from The Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, First United Methodist Church of Orlando, St. James Cathedral, and Trinity Lutheran Church developed a viable solution after meeting for a six-month period of exhaustive research and interviews. A significant part of this solution was to expand the process that was developed at Project Homeless Connect (PHC), an annual service fair that utilized various agencies working together symbiotically.
The overwhelming demand for these services at Project Homeless Connect events showed that more needed to be done, and IDignity hosts bi-weekly service days in downtown Orlando. Each service day provides service to 50–70 clients who are individually welcomed to the service day and treated with respect and compassion throughout the process.
Since its beginning in May 2008, IDignity Orlando has offered identification services where U.S. citizens and legal residents can get a Florida birth certificate, as well as a Florida ID (or license renewal). We also offer our clients help with getting a Social Security card or verification information. We accomplish this mission through governmental partnership and the support of hundreds of dedicated volunteers.
The documents IDignity obtains for its clients give them the freedom to apply for work or school, gain access to shelters, seek help from social service programs, open a bank account or cash a check, secure permanent housing, or overcome many other obstacles that block them from being empowered to better their own lives.
What Makes Us Different
IDignity stands by our clients in need and we do our best to help every client. We have helped a domestic abuse survivor and her children regain their identities after their abuser blocked the registry of the children’s births and limited their interaction with society. We have helped countless veterans obtain their birth certificates, which are required to obtain VA-funded housing.
Obtaining an identification document might sound like a straightforward process. However, it is not unusual for IDignity to invest months and sometimes years on complex cases where a birth certificate was not filed or contains errors. In order to issue a delayed or amended birth certificate, each state has different standards for what documents must be gathered, typically from early childhood records, to document citizenship status, place/date of birth and parentage.
Our mission to restore dignity and hope by providing identification does not begin and end at our Identification Clinics. Our values and community advocacy reflect our commitment to our mission. We host an annual Homeless Memorial Service recognizing those who have died each year, and our leaders serve on various committees and boards addressing homeless and social justice concerns. IDignity’s values are Dignity, Empowerment, Stewardship, Compassion, Excellence and Justice. We hope you will read more about our mission, vision and values.