If you’re on the streets you’ll need several things – a place to crash, places to eat, and critical connections (places and people) to make shit happen.
A word of advice: if you can avoid it do not sleep on the streets. And dude, this is critical: if you do not have a picture Id: get one. A picture Id is required to stay at any shelter as well as to receive many services. Also, proof of residence (however temporary that residence is) is often required for many services.
Sleeping on the streets will inevitably mean running into local or State police. They will at the least make you leave whatever spot you are in if they do not arrest you for trespassing. They will often arrest you if you do not provide Id. You don’t need the hassle on top of everything else.
Ten bucks or so, a birth certificate, and a Social Security card will get you a non driver Id. Unfortunately, if you do not have a birth certificate and/or Social Security card things will get tricky (and expensive).
You can get a copy of your birth certificate through the Hall of Records of the state you were born in. Those born in New York State can find the State’s vital records site here.
[from the Hall of Records website]:
800 North Pearl Street
2nd Floor – Room 200
Menands, NY 12204
The Vital Records customer service lobby is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, excluding holidays.
For those driving to 800 North Pearl Street, visitor parking, including handicap parking, is available.
If you are driving from the north or the south, take I-787 to Exit 6, the Route 32 (Broadway) exit for Menands. Turn left (South) onto Route 32. Travel about a mile to Wolfert Avenue (a Stewart’s Shop is on the corner) and turn right onto Wolfert. One block up is North Pearl Street. Turn right (North) onto North Pearl and follow to the end. The 800 North Pearl Street parking lot is at the end of North Pearl. Follow the signs to visitors parking near the front of the building.
If you are driving from the east or west, take I-90 to I-787 North then follow the directions above.
For those using public transportation, the most accessible CDTA bus route is the Second Avenue # 6 Bus. Passengers should disembark at the intersection of Wolfert Avenue and North Pearl Street (near the Channel 13 Building). 800 North Pearl Street is located 2-blocks north on North Pearl Street.
In Albany you can get a new or replacement Social Security card at the Albany Social Security office, 74 N Pearl St Fl 6 Albany, NY 12207.