A disastrous side effect of electing individuals who disdain government is that they actively work to ensure government does not work. On the other hand, folks who believe government can improve the lives of constituents work for solutions.

And so, on Friday, Jan. 17, several state agencies will be at the New Mexico State Library, 12096 Camino Carlos Rey, to provide services to homeless people. The library, as those of us who live in Santa Fe know, is across the street from the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete’s Place — the closest thing to home for many homeless neighbors. Convenient, in other words.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., three agencies will be present to do such basic things as help people obtain a driver’s license or ID, get a birth certificate and a flu shot or obtain assistance finding a job. Representatives from the Department of Taxation and Revenue Motor Vehicle Division’s Mobile Unit, the Department of Health and the Department of Workforce Solutions should be on hand.

At the same time, shelter workers have been working to register guests who need assistance, showing important cooperation to help people. It’s the third such effort by the state; two already occurred in 2019, one in Albuquerque and another in Las Cruces. It’s welcome for Santa Fe.

A lot of planning and organization — as well as financial donations — have helped make the event happen.

Birth certificates and IDs cost $10 each, but the first 50 applicants will be covered through $100 donations from the Santa Fe legislative delegation. Organized by state Rep. Linda Trujillo, money came from House Speaker Brian Egolf, Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, Rep. Christine Chandler, Rep. Andrea Romero and Rep. Jim Trujillo. Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley also donated $100.

Without proper identification, it’s difficult for a person on the streets to leave them behind. Such things as a driver’s license or a birth certificate are commonplace for people who have shelter and a drawer to store important documents — but for someone who doesn’t know where she will sleep each night, precious papers can be lost or stolen easily.

With representatives on hand from the Santa Fe Workforce Connection, people who are homeless will receive help creating résumés, preparing for interviews and registering in the department’s online system to help make job hunting easier. This is a real opportunity for people to get a hand up. Extra attention will be offered to men and women who indicate they are veterans, too.

Department of Health workers will offer help getting birth certificates and flu shots, but there also will be people from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to offer services to existing clients and enroll qualified moms and children for nutrition assistance.

All in all, Friday promises to be a day where people who need help receive it — and that’s an example of what happens when government recognizes that it exists to improve lives.

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