New opportunity for people who lost jobs because of Ian

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Paul Dolan
Credit: WINK News.

When Hurricane Ian tore apart Fort Myers Beach, it not only destroyed homes and businesses, it took away jobs from almost everyone.

But, someone is stepping up and giving jobs to those who rely heavily upon the income that they provide.

This means these people will be able to support their families, which Hurricane Ian stripped away from these people a few weeks ago.

Among the devastation on the beach, the Gulf View Manor Hotel, while shuttered, is standing nonetheless.

The hotel will be closed for a while and that will cause some employees to become desperate.

Fanny Vargas, a cleaner for the hotel, now left without a job, shared some thoughts with WINK News.

“When the hurricane passed we lost our jobs, very scared that we had become unemployed,” Fanny Vargas said in Spanish through a translator.

However, business is picking up for Ella Sagarese and Katelyn Potts, the co-owners of Bonita-based SWFL services, a cleaning and organizing company.

“So since the hurricane, there has been so much restoration jobs with these poor people’s homes getting completely destroyed, and then filled with moisture,” Sagarese said.

There is still a lot of work left to do since Ian hit Southwest Florida. So, when Sagarese and Potts needed help, they were very happy when Gulf View Manor reached out.

“It was hard to find really good, reliable workers,” Potts said. “So once a hit and everything happened, he reached out to us. And luckily, we were able to take on about 20 housekeepers and seven handymen.”

“They were so happy and so thankful,” Sagarese said. “And I mean, we were so happy and thankful because it was right when we started getting so crazily busy, that we were desperate for workers, and they were desperate for work. So it just worked out so perfectly.”

Despite all they’ve been through and all the stress that was thrown their way, they said all they have is gratitude.

“We want to thank the girls who also helped us and They continue to support us and we continue to help our families, thanks to them,” Vargas said in Spanish through a translator.

You could hear the emotion in her voice and see her eyes tear up as she talked about the chance to provide for her family again.

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