Once per year the Lee County Homeless Coalition, with the help of many volunteers, conducts a Point in Time (PIT) census to count individuals and families who are homeless. The data is provided to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and assists in developing services to meet the specific needs of individuals and families who are homeless in Lee County. The PIT count, which asked people where they slept the night of January 20, 2018, included both sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families. Download the full report here.

PIT Survey Results and Comparison201620172018Trend
Total Homeless Individuals439431728[1]68.91%
Total Homeless Households with Children413890[2]136.84%
Chronic Homeless[3]9065132103.08%
Individuals Homeless as a result of Hurricane Irma[4]257
Households with Children as a result of Hurricane Irma[5]43
Households Homeless as a result of Hurricane Irma[6]86

It is important to note that the PIT count is a snapshot in time only of homeless individuals and families living on the streets or in shelters during a 24-hour period. It does not account for fluctuations over time of the number of homeless throughout a given year. The PIT does provide important data that can be extrapolated to show trends and successes of programs offered by homeless agency service providers. The PIT count along with data obtained through the Lee County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) found that during the course of the year, there are an estimated 2,957 people who experience homelessness in Lee County.

Housing and service programs for persons experiencing homelessness are provided, in part, through Continuum of Care funding from the state of Florida and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2017, Community Assisted and Supported Living, Inc. received renewal funding for two rental subsidy programs and two permanent housing programs, and additional funding to expand an existing permanent housing program. The Salvation Army Fort Myers Area Command received funds to expand the rapid rehousing program to permanently house eligible families who are homeless. The Lee County Department of Human and Veteran Services received funds for planning, which will provide additional resources to strengthen the local homelessness response system. The total amount awarded to the Continuum of Care in Lee County was $1,739,532.

The Lee County Homeless Coalition would like to extend a special thank you to the volunteers that assisted with this year’s PIT count.

[1] Includes individuals who are homeless as a result of Hurricane Irma
[2] Includes households with children who are homeless as a result of Hurricane Irma
[3] HUD defines chronic homelessness as “an unaccompanied adult homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either continuously been homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.”
[4] The individuals and families who were homeless as a result of Hurricane Irma was obtained from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Temporary Shelter Assistance (TSA) data.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.