The Promises of the Future Just Out of Reach



Sometimes clients need just a little assistance to make big things happen. Mr. King had money that could support him but the road to reach it had many obstacles. Mr. King was referred to our office by his mental health case worker at SMA Healthcare. He had recently been released from prison after two and a half years. However, when he returned to the Palm Coast area, he found that he could no longer live in his family home. His mother died within just a few days of his incarceration and family members had moved on with selling the home leaving him with nowhere to go.

His probation officer had helped him set goals among them to get his mental health medication and counseling needs squared away immediately. He began services at SMA in Bunnell. His caseworker emailed DeAnna OFlaherty, SOAR Project Director at Flagler Cares to ask about how to get the client qualified for food stamps, a cell phone and to regain Social Security Disability funds he had been receiving before prison.

Flagler Cares provided information on getting food stamps and a free cell phone. The next day, November 17th, DeAnna and Flagler Cares, Care Coordinator Kelly Knott, met with Mr. King at the Bunnell Library to discuss his housing needs. He related to them that he did not have a valid ID and that he had been left money in his mother’s estate that he could not access despite it being issued to him when he was incarcerated.

The first step, however, was to get his out of state birth certificate. This can be difficult when someone has been incarcerated and has no valid ID. DeAnna worked with the state vital statistics office to request his birth certificate using his DOC ID asking for an expedited process on the clients behalf. By December 2nd, the birth certificate was received.

DeAnna accompanied Mr. King to secure his driver’s license which had expired while he was incarcerated. The driver’s license also allowed him to keep his motorcycle endorsement. Mr. King was thrilled to find that he might be able to purchase a motorcycle which would be much less expensive than a car and get back on the road as he was riding a bicycle that had been donated by a church.

His SMA case worker continued to help him with food stamps and a cell phone, with information provided by Flagler Cares and his newly secured ID. Church of Christ, Bunnell and the Family Assistance Center/ The Sheltering Tree paid for hotel nights until he could get his funds. Within just 2 weeks of the initial referral, he was able to get his birth certificate, food stamps, a cell phone, and the disbursement of $10,000 in personal funds that were being held by the Department of Corrections. He had received the small inheritance at his mother’s death, however, because he had no fixed address, no identification, and no bank account it made it impossible for him to access these funds that could help him secure housing.

For $115.25 from the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties supported IDAssist program, he got his driver’s license back for the next 8 years, got his birth certificate, stabilize his food insecurity, secured a cell phone which he paid a full year in advance as soon as he got his bank account. This investment resulted in the client being able to secure $10,000 in funds to help with his reintegration and to meet the requirements of his probation to find housing and create a local support network including mental health services. Housing and SOAR services will continue to support him. The return on investment, in the end, is immeasurable.