Community | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Homeless Ask for Library Cards

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email
Homeless coalition leaders say 3.3 million Americans will experience homelessness this year alone. And our homeless community is speaking out about their right to have a public library card.

homeless

In a modern public library, the service of checking out books has evolved. Now you can borrow DVD's, music, and more--just as long as you have a library card. For many in the homeless community who say they are not offered many opportunities, they believe this is one simple privilege that should not be taken away.

Anicia Zaporta, who has made The Shelter on Tennessee Street her home said, "For us to go to the library, it's going back to--they call it--a normal life. It's a way to escape from the pain that everyone's going through."

In order to have a library card, someone must have proof of local residency. For the homeless, their address might be someplace such as The Shelter. And although some of them might live there for five years or more, the Leon County Library says they must have a legal residence which proves they are a tax payer and they contribute to the
library.

Cay Hohmeister, with the Leon County Public Library said, "We issue library cards to people who are residents of the county. So for example, we don't give a library card to someone who's staying in a hotel."

On the other side--some homeless say The Shelter is their permanent home. "If you live in a certain address, if you get mail there from the government, from anybody, that's your address. For me that's my home." said Zaporta.

Homeless coalition leaders locally say 3,000 to 4,000 people experience homelessness in Tallahassee each year.


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