Fort Myers will spend $22,000 to house homeless in hotels for 2 weeks

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
homeless lions park
Credit: WINK News

Fort Myers city leaders continue to discuss the future of the homeless population. After being kicked out of Centennial Park, they migrated to Lions Park. Now, leaders say they can’t stay there either.

Fort Myers City Council voted Monday to allocate $22,000 to help house people experiencing homelessness in the city in hotels for two weeks instead of bringing them to an area on The Salvation Army’s property.

Mayor Kevin Anderson told the council Salvation Army and Lee County decided to work together to help re-house some of the homeless in hotels and shelters.

“They basically took our plan minus bringing them closer to the services and moved forward with it,” Anderson said during the meeting

The city council asked the city manager to speak with the county and nonprofit to see how they can help come up with a plan in the future.

Before the council voted, Jennifer Nelson, Cape Coral councilwoman and member of Lee County Homeless Coalition’s Continuum of Care program, did a presentation describing what could be done.

Anderson invited Nelson to give the presentation about what they do to service the homeless in Lee County after she sent an email stating her concerns.

Nelson also spoke about how she believes the plans to move the homeless population from Lions Park to an area on Salvation Army’s property would help them.

City council previously voted against the proposal to work with Lee County and Salvation Army to help the homeless.

“Those individuals that want help, we need to be there to serve them and to provide them that help,” Nelson said.

Fort Myers City Council is scheduled to talk more about how to tackle homelessness in the city soon.

Come Friday, park rules will be enforced, which means no one will be allowed to sleep in the parks anymore.

“We have got to do something. And those who are fighting for the homeless are going to continue to fight,” said Mayor Anderson.

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