• U-District homeless man needs help with ID

    By: Amy Clancy

    Updated:

    A homeless man without a name needs help learning who he is, because without an identity he cannot get access to housing and services.

    The man has lived on the streets near the University of Washington for over 25 years.

    Now, he’s a patient at the UW Medical Center and cannot get access to services and potential housing unless he’s identified.

    When you ask this man his name, he’ll tell you it’s Kenny.  He says his last name is also Kenny.  

    In King County Superior Court Friday morning, homeless advocate Channa Copeland of NorthstarConnections.org became Kenny’s legal guardian to help care for and identify him.  

    She told KIRO 7 that Kenny often disappears for a couple of days and “comes back all cleaned up, so our hope is that somebody has been taking care of him over the years or knows his family.”

    Kenny can no longer care for himself.  Due to frostbite and injuries from a life spent on the streets, Kenny can’t use his legs or hands.  He cannot communicate, and will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.  

    However, if he is to gain access to any care, Copeland needs to know who he is, which is why she shared his story with KIRO 7.

    “Kenny is literally stuck at this hospital until I can get his Medicaid benefits established, apply for his Medicare and Social Security,” Copeland said.  “It’s very possible he would qualify for VA benefits, too.”

    Copeland said police, churches and shelters in the University District have been interviewed about Kenny, in the hope of identifying him.  His DNA has also been collected and will be tested, but the results could take months.

    “He is literally stranded as long as we don’t know his name.”

    If you know anything about Kenny’s identity, please email Copeland at channa@NorthstarConnections.org.

     


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