In September, 2018, a group of SMM Parishioners joined together to work with a young woman, Danielle, who had aged-out of foster care. The team—Suzanne Bliss, Maureen Brady, Peggy Canary, Denise Farrington, Sue Gelineau, Anne Schultz, and Betsy Swart—set out to achieve the difficult goal of obtaining an ID for Danielle, without which she could not vote, drive, sign a lease, return to school, or even visit a doctor. They simultaneously, with the help of parishioner, Dick Ashby, began weekly GED tutoring sessions.
After working for over a year with other local agencies on the ID problem, the team asked Mr. Jeff Harvey, Director of Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida and SMM parishioner, to take over the case. Mr. Harvey’s team appeared on Danielle’s behalf before Orange County Court; petitioned the State of NY for her corrected birth certificate; and finally, in February, 2020, successfully obtained it!
With that document in hand, Danielle was able to get her FL ID. And with that ID, she signed her first apartment lease and moved into her new home just before the Coronavirus crisis suspended social activity. The difficult case was finalized just in time!
The “table” committee is grateful to Fr. Walsh, Sr. Rosemary, Deacon Scott, and all staff and parishioners who provided psychological and material support for Danielle. We are truly “SMM blessed.”