Prior to this announcement, The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command required proof of income, one form of identification and a Social Security number for at least one member of a family in order to register for the Angel Tree program. With the single Social Security number, The Salvation Army registered all members of the same household regardless of whether they had a Social Security number or not.
In most cases, individuals and families who were not able to provide a Social Security number were still provided assistance by The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command. Valid forms of identification include school registration, Medicaid cards, Consular cards, food stamps cards, and birth certificates.
The Social Security numbers provided were never used to verify legal status. Instead, Social Security numbers were entered into a Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command database that searched for matches on the same number. If a match was found, families were informed they had already registered for the Angel Tree program, that they would receive the help they were asking for, but that they could not register more than once for the same program.