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DSC01557In an effort to provide the homeless and veteran populations in Lee County with access to essential goods and services, the Lee County Homeless Coalition hosted the 16th annual Homeless Service Day and Veterans Stand Down on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

The event took place at City of Palms Stadium located at 2201 Edison Avenue, Fort Myers; from 8:45 a.m. until approximately 12:00 p.m. Services provided during the event to anyone who is homeless included provisions for food, hygiene kits, backpacks, flu shots, haircuts and information on VA benefits. Referrals for substance abuse and mental health counseling were also available. During the event, the Lee County Homeless Coalition conducted their Annual Homeless Census, which provides critical information on the scope of the homelessness in our community.

“A Stand Down is a military term used to describe a brief respite from combat where troops could access a variety of services,” shared Janet Bartos, executive director. “Our hope is to help homeless individuals get what they need by providing these services in a one-stop setting.”

At no charge, the effort to provide these “one-stop” services in one day is a collaborative endeavor which includes a number of agencies and civic organizations committed to supporting the needs and services of the homeless.

The Lee County Homeless Coalition is a non-profit organization comprised 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. The Coalition’s 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.