Thank You to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners for Their Proclamation for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month!

There are an estimated 2,785 homeless in Lee County.  The homeless count completed in January 2017 indicated that of the sampling, 15.08% were chronic homeless, 3.25% were veterans, 35.5% reported having a disabling condition and among the 431 sampled were 38 families with 70 children; and

Whereas, the primary cause of homelessness is poverty and the lack of housing that is affordable to very low-income people, further complicated by domestic violence, substance abuse and mental illness; and

Whereas, the mission of the Lee County Homeless Coalition is to advocate, educate, and promote awareness of issues and obstacles facing homeless individuals in Lee County through community collaboration, planning and implementing solutions; and

Whereas, the month of November is designated as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month to educate the public and bring awareness to the needs of the homeless; and

Whereas, the Lee County Homeless Coalition will sponsor several events during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month to promote awareness in the community and to encourage support for homeless assistance service providers; and

Whereas, the Lee County Homeless Coalition will sponsor the “Homeless Challenge- Walk a Mile in their Shoes” as an educational program providing awareness to those who participate. During this event participants will become familiar with the social services network and methods of everyday survival for those who live on the streets. This Challenge will provide an experience that has the power to effect change.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the month of November 2017 as “HUNGER and HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS MONTH” in Lee County and recognizes that this is a month of special importance and encourages all citizens to recognize that many people do not have housing and need support from citizens, and public/private nonprofit service entities.

Thank You to Our 2017 Silent Auction Sponsors and Supporters!

There are several people, companies and nonprofit agencies that we want to recognize for their support for the 13th Annual Dinner and Silent Auction. Although we canceled the dinner and moved the Silent Auction online, we were blessed with resolute, generous support from the following leaders. Thank you for your sponsorship after Hurricane Irma:

  • The Housing Authority City of Fort Myers’ Gold Sponsorship of $1,000.00
  • Gaile Anthoney’s Gold Sponsorship of $1,000.00
  • Amy Davies’ Gold Sponsorship of $1,000.00
  • Faith Presbyterian’s Silver Sponsorship of $500.00
  • Barraco and Associates’ Silver Sponsorship of $500.00
  • AIM Engineering and Surveying, Inc.’s Silver Sponsorship of $500.00
  • Family Health Centers’ Bronze Sponsorship of $300.00
  • Lutheran Services’ Bronze Sponsorship of $300.00
  • Clean Skies and Joe Fossella’s Bronze Sponsorship of $300.00
  • St. Columbkille Knights of Columbus’ Bronze Sponsorship of $300.00

Likewise, we want to thank the following individuals for their donations to support the Coalition this year:

  • Donna and Michael Rousseau’s Support of $150.00
  • Raymond and Janice Paquet’s Support of $150.00
  • Dale and Terrie Hall’s Support of $150.00
  • Charles and Carrie Lucas’s Support of $150.00
  • Paul and Caron St. Jean’s Support of $150.00
  • Johnny Limbaugh and Wright Construction’s Support of $150.00
  • Leesa Abbott’s Sponsorship of $130.00

Despite the hardships our community faces after Hurricane Irma, we have seen a resilience in our community that demonstrates a resolute commitment to serve the hungry and homeless after the storm. Thank you again for your generous contribution this year!

Annual Dinner Canceled Due to Hurricane Irma

Annual Dinner Canceled Due to Hurricane Irma: Online Silent Auction Established In Lieu of Lee County Homeless Coalition Dinner

The Board of Directors for the Lee County Homeless Coalition has made the decision to cancel the 13th

Annual Dinner and Silent Auction scheduled for November 4, 2017 due to the impact that Hurricane Irma has had on our hurting community. This decision was not taken lightly and was made because our fundraising event relies heavily on donations from small businesses and community leaders that are hurting from storm damage and weeks of lost revenue.

In an effort to be mindful of our business and civic-minded supporters, we have decided instead to host an online silent auction. Bidding on items online supports our mission to “to advocate, educate, and promote awareness of issues and obstacles facing homeless individuals in Lee County through community collaboration, planning, and implementing solutions.” Because this is the Coalition’s main fundraiser for the year, we encourage you to consider supporting us through the online silent auction. We plan on sharing more information about where you can bid on these items as soon as possible.

Many of our sponsors and donors have requested that we keep their donations and ticket items to continue our efforts supporting our member agencies. Please help us continue our work in the community and put together a gift basket or silent auction item. We rely on your support to continue our efforts. Please contact us directly if you prefer that we refund your ticket price or donation.

What does the Lee County Homeless Coalition do with the funding that it receives from events like the Dinner and Silent Auction? The Coalition works faithfully to advocate, educate, and promote awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness. We organize meetings, advocate with elected officials, and connect members in a network of service providers.

More than that, we support our member agencies with funding that helps them achieve their mission to impact the lives of those who face tremendous challenges. This year, the Coalition board made $31,000 in grant funding available to twelve Coalition member agencies.

We hope that this has not caused too much inconvenience. For those of you who have been working on their costumes for the themed dinner, we plan on having the same “come as your favorite character” theme next year in 2018.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued efforts to serve homeless individuals and families in our community.

More details about the online silent auction are coming soon!

2017 Dean Blietz Annual Memorial Award Winners!

Congratulations to Bill and Judy Guyn! They were selected as winners of the 2017 Dean Blietz Annual Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service. This award is given annually to exceptional individuals who have demonstrated long term, selfless dedication and compassion for others in our community. Your contributions to our community are very much appreciated.

They are featured here with Lee County Homeless Coalition Board Members Amy Davies, Michelle Smith and Sharon Weiss-Kapp.