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Free PO Box for Homeless People

Free PO Box for Homeless People

Life isn’t easy for those with no fixed abode. 

Having no permanent address makes things especially difficult. Storing your stuff, opening a bank account, and applying for jobs can all become seriously difficult for homeless people. And another difficult thing is receiving mail. How can you get a letter or package if you have no address? Well, luckily, USPS can provide a free PO Box for homeless people. 

And here’s everything you need to know about it.

Can Homeless People Have A PO Box?

Yes, they can! USPS provides free PO Boxes to homeless people as a wonderful service! And though there are a couple of rules to follow, it’s a surprisingly straightforward process to get one.

You’ll need to visit your local post office to apply. To find your closest location, simply visit this post office locator. Just type in your city, state, or zip code, and it’ll come up with every post office in your area, along with its contact details and hours of operation.

The Process

First things first: do not be embarrassed about applying for a PO box as a homeless person. The United States Postal Service is there to serve the public. It is not there to judge you, only to offer assistance.

Secondly, you need to make sure you have your details and documents in order before applying. While USPS is there to help, it does have certain hoops to jump through. You must fulfill the criteria; otherwise, your application will be delayed.

What does a homeless person need to open a free PO box?

There are conditions under which a homeless person can open a free PO box. They do not have to fit all three rules, though. Just one will make them eligible. 

Firstly, USPS needs to know who you are. This is so it can verify that the right person is the one receiving the mail. You either need a document or another person to confirm your identity. You can do this with a form of government ID such as a passport or driving license. You can also use a voter or vehicle registration card, or vehicle insurance policy.

What does a homeless person need to open a free PO box

What if I don’t have an ID?

But if you don’t have any of these, it’s ok! If you are known by the postmaster or window clerk, they can also verify you. If you don’t have documentation or know a USPS employee, there’s one more method of confirming your identity. 

You will need a verified point of contact. This could be your place of employment if you have one, but can also be a shelter, your local social services office, or a charity.

What’s next?

After you’ve verified your identity, you’ll need to fill out a form. The details on this form include your name, age, ethnicity, weight, and height. It may seem a little intrusive, but USPS needs this information to prevent other people from accessing your PO box.

From there, it’s simply a case of the USPS employees processing your application. This can take a while, but don’t lose hope! USPS wants to help, but it just has to ensure certain things for the security of your mail.

Reason Your Application Was Denied

Reason Your Application Was Denied

Unfortunately, they are denied from time to time. There are a couple of reasons this can happen. And if an application for a PO box as a homeless person is denied, it’s difficult to appeal.

The number one reason for denial is a lack of ID. Sure, it’s ok if you don’t have official documentation. But if you also can’t find anyone else to corroborate who you are, there’s no way to open that PO box. The second reason could be there isn’t a post office in your area.

Many locations have closed…

It’s sad to say, but many physical USPS locations have closed in recent years. Homeless people in smaller towns and cities may not have a nearby store.

Other Delivery Options For Homeless People Using USPS

If your application for a free PO box was denied, don’t despair! A PO box isn’t your only option. There is another way to get your mail.

Other Delivery Options For Homeless People Using USPS

General delivery

General delivery can be used as a temporary address for homeless people. It’s primarily for those moving locations who, as yet, don’t have anywhere to receive mail. So, it’s a great resource for those without a home.

No application is required for general delivery. All the sender needs to do is mark the package or envelope with your name, the words ‘general delivery,’ and your city, state, and zip code.

How Do I Pick up my Mail?

To pick up your mail through general delivery, you will need to prove who you are. That means it’s less than ideal for those who are undocumented. However, you may still be able to receive mail if you can be verified by a respected member of the community.

Check out this page for more information. It has everything you’ve ever wanted to know about USPS general delivery. You can learn the restrictions as well as guidelines for using the service.

Are You Experiencing Homelessness?

Being homeless isn’t easy. Things that were previously accessible to you suddenly become almost impossible to get. Food stamps, a bank account, and of course, a safe place to receive mail all suddenly appear out of reach.

However, there are some great resources around that offer assistance. The department of health and human services has plenty of links to help homeless people in need, as well as hotlines for runways, those experiencing domestic violence, and victims of human trafficking.

Read more: How Many People Make Over 100k in a Year?

What Else Should I Know About PO Boxes?

Well, here’s some general info you might be interested in, such as How Much Is A PO Box At USPS, along with Does Amazon Deliver To PO BoxesDoes FedEx Deliver To PO Boxes, and Does UPS Ship To PO Boxes, or perhaps you need to find out Can I Send Certified Mail To A PO Box?

If you’re using UPS to send official documents, check out Does UPS Notarize, or you might be interested to know How Fast Is UPS 2nd Day AirWhat Does In Transit Mean At UPS, and Does UPS Deliver On A Sunday in 2023?

USPS is another great alternative for shipping off parcels. So, let’s take a look at What Is A USPS Parcel LockerDoes USPS Print Labels, and What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS, as well as l Does USPS Deliver At Night, and Does USPS Deliver On Sunday if you’re awaiting a delivery over the weekend.

Final Thoughts

Life is hard when you’re homeless. But it can be made a little easier by having regular access to mail. And USPS is here to help.

So, head down to your local post office and have a chat with the employees there. You’ll soon find out if you’re eligible for a PO box. And don’t forget, if you can’t, you may still be able to use the general delivery service instead.

We wish you all the best in the future!

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