By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – About one hundred homeless men and women in Philadelphia took advantage of an opportunity to get a document necessary for services, programs and educational needs at no cost.

“I didn’t have the money to get it, so it’s really a blessing.”

Abigail was filling out paper work to get birth certificates for herself and two of her children.

The $20 fee for each one is being paid for by the Homeless Advocacy Project or (HAP).

“Why do you need it? Well I really need it for their school, just in general for important things anyway, just proof that they are my kids.”

She also needs it for her job.

Marsha Cohen, the Executive Director of HAP says, “If you are mom with four kids it will cost you a hundred dollars to get birth certificates for everyone in the family and you can’t even put in your housing application until you have everybody’s birth certificates. So this is an essential first service for so many folks that are trying to get back to living independently.”

More than 50 volunteers from PECO, Exelon, and the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP were assisting applicants in the process.