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)
I am homeless. How do I find housing?
Lee County Human and Veteran Services provides a 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. The Lee County Homeless Coalition does not have shelter beds. United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties has a robust referral system for social service, please dial 211 from your phone and you will be connected to a person that will be able to further assist you.
Do you accept donations of clothing?
Donations can be in the form of cash, check, credit card, event sponsorships, stock, planned gifts or in-kind goods and services. Donate monetarily or with supplies like nonperishable food items, cellphones, hygiene items, backpacks, socks, phone battery banks, hand sanitizer, tarps, rain ponchos, or blankets. We do not accept clothing. Contributions to the Coalition are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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. The Lee County Rental Assistance program phone number is 239-533-7900. 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: Mon – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm and Saturday 8:30am – 1:30pm. You can also do your laundry there, receive mail, and get something to eat.