Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend have partnered to create the Fort Wayne Community Identification Card program.
Henry signed a mayoral executive order Oct. 14 to implement the program in the city. Catholic Charities will serve as the fiscal agent and issuer of the cards.
“This is a proactive effort to recognize all citizens in our community and demonstrate respect, value, diversity and inclusion,” Henry said during an Oct. 14 news conference.
The identification cards will serve populations that have challenges obtaining other forms of photo identification that would assist individuals with tasks such as accessing city of Fort Wayne services where identification is required.
Cities such as South Bend, Goshen, Elkhart and Plymouth have similar programs in place and have partnered with schools and hospitals so that the cards will be accepted in those settings.
“The city of Fort Wayne and Catholic Charities are committed to making a positive difference for individuals and families as we strive to be a welcoming community,” Henry said. “It’s critical that we invest in the lives of our citizens. I’m looking forward to positive outcomes from our collective efforts to be a recognized leader in providing excellent services.”
Catholic Charities Interim CEO Daniel Florin said Catholic Charities is proud to work with For Wayne to create the first Fort Wayne Community Identification Card program.
“We believe by issuing identification cards, our city and all of its citizens will benefit in areas of the economy, culture and safety,” Florin said.
Henry said the identification cards will be accepted by the Fort Wayne Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, but not by the Indiana State Police. Henry said he will discuss the identification cards with ISP.
“The only things they cannot use the cards for are for voter registration and they cannot use it as a driver’s license,” Henry said.
Florin said the cooperation between Catholic Charities and Fort Wayne for this program was a “natural fit” to serve as the fiscal and administrator agent for the cards.
He also said these identification cards are “very important” for the Afghanistan refugees who are coming into Fort Wayne.
“It will take awhile for them to be in a position to get the documentation they need for a driver’s license so this will create an opportunity now to receive a city ID card and take advantage of the services of the city of Fort Wayne,” Florin said.
Some examples that the identification card will provide access to are libraries and opening a bank account.
“We’re very happy and privileged to be trusted to do this,” Florin said. “We’re dealing with people everyday who need services and we think this is a real value for those individuals. We’re very humbled and look forward to executing the program.”
Individuals may obtain a card by appointment at the Catholic Charities office by contacting 260-422-5625. Catholic Charities is located at 915 S. Clinton Street.
A card for adults aged 18 to 64 is $25, youth 17 and younger is $20 and seniors 65 and older is $20.
The identification cards will be available this week but an exact date has not yet been announced.