Cincinnati is on the verge of being the first city in Ohio to issue a municipal ID.
Cincinnati Enquirer story: For the vulnerable, the value of personal ID
From the article:
"For Stewart and others struggling to work their way back into society, the ID card could prove to be a valuable piece of plastic, card proponents say.
Stewart, now working construction and struggling to make ends meet, said people who've never been without identification such as a driver's license have no idea how difficult life can be without it.
"I think having a card like that would make things a lot easier for me," he said. His expired state ID card prevented him from registering at a temporary service and working while he served the final months of his prison sentence at Volunteers of America.
People discharged from Ohio prisons receive an offender card that provides a 90-day grace period to go to any Bureau of Motor Vehicles office and exchange it for a non-driver's license ID for a cost of $7.50. ID card proponents says that process can drag out and prevent the returning citizens from accessing housing.
The lack of a legal ID prevented Stewart from working and supporting his Barnes and their three daughters. She and the girls, ages 8, 6 and 5, ended up living from early February through the end of April at the Bethany House family homeless shelter in South Fairmount. During her stay in the shelter, Barnes said she went through the process of sending away for her birth certificate in her native Houston, Texas, and applying for a Social Security card, which finally allowed her to get a non-driver's license Ohio ID card.
In the meantime, they say, they lost their apartment, their furniture and housewares. The lack of recognized identification prevented them from registering their children for school, they said.
"I ended up with just two bags of clothes for me and the girls," Barnes said.
At Volunteers of America, Stewart said, "I just had the clothes on my back.""