About the Lee County Homeless Coalition
Homelessness is a complex issue that can overwhelm independent agencies that address specific issues. The confusion of navigating multiple agencies for their various needs can be an obstacle for homeless people trying to achieve self-sufficiency. The Lee County Homeless Coalition is committed to ending homelessness by advocating and working together to provide more efficient services to those who experience homelessness.
Our mission is “to advocate, educate, and promote awareness of issues and obstacles facing homeless individuals in Lee County through community collaboration, planning, and implementing solutions.” The Lee County Homeless Coalition is a non-profit advocacy group made up of community and faith-based service providers, local businesses, people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, and other advocates committed to ending homelessness.
History of the Homeless Coalition
The Lee County Homeless Coalition was reorganized in 2004 under the umbrella of the Lee County Department of Human Services with the intent to develop a broader base of support and at some time operate again as an independent agency. Thanks to support from the community, that goal was achieved in 2009, and the Coalition was recognized as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To become a member, click here.
The function of the Coalition was established pursuant to Florida Statute 420.623 to plan, network, coordinate, and monitor the delivery of services to the homeless.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you have any beds available?
We are not a shelter. If you are experiencing a housing crisis, you should contact Lee County Human and Veteran Services to participate in the Coordinated Entry system. Coordinated Entry is a system designed to match people experiencing homelessness to available housing, shelter, and services. The system prioritizes those who are most in need of assistance. Lee County’s Coordinated Entry system employs a “Housing First” model that prioritizes individuals and families facing the highest vulnerability and needs for permanent, supportive housing.
Do you accept donations of clothing?
We do not accept clothing, but we accept hygiene items, tarps, rain ponchos, and blankets during the winter.
How many people are homeless in Lee County?
Once per year, the Coalition, with the help of many volunteers, conducts a Point in Time (PIT) census to count the homeless and provide data to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The PIT count is also used to gather the information that allows local service providers to target services to meet the homeless’s specific needs in our communities. Please go to Point in Time Census Comparison Report to view the current numbers.
Do you provide rental and utility assistance?
We do not provide direct services, but our member agencies do. They provide prevention (rental and utility assistance), Diversion, Outreach, Shelter, Rapid Rehousing, and Permanent Supportive Housing. Lee County Human & Veteran Services has applications online at www.leegov.com/dhs/homelessnesspreventionprogram. Please view our Get Help section on our website if you need services. Agencies and contact info are in the Lee County Pocket Guide to Emergency Assistance.
Where can I shower, charge up my phone and possibly get some hygiene items?
The Salvation Army now has a Homeless Resource Day Center located at 2450 Edison Avenue, Fort Myers, Fl 33901, phone (239) 789-1169, Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 AM-6 PM. You can also do your laundry there, receive mail, and get something to eat.