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Salvation Army Opens Homeless Resource Day Center in Fort Myers

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John Davis
/
WGCU
Salvation Army and Lee County officials cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the new Homeless Resource Center on Edison Ave.

The Salvation Army held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, to celebrate the opening of its new Homeless Resource Day Center in Fort Myers.

Area Commander for the Salvation Army in Fort Myers Carlyle Gargis said it offers services many people may take for granted.

“A place to wash your clothes, a place to have lunch, a place to charge your phone, a place to really even find some healthcare as we’re hopefully going to open up some healthcare opportunities. And then mental healthcare too.”

The Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and also includes classroom space for activities like life skills and budgeting education.

Case management services will also be provided through partner agencies like the Lee County Department of Human and Veteran Services, Providence Family Service, Centerstone Agency and Pennington Home Watch and Services to help get people out of homelessness. Gargis said the Salvation Army has been working with Lee County officials who reached out to the nonprofit since about November to make the new center a reality.

According to Lee County Communications Director Betsy Clayton, Lee County provided more than $57,000 to help retro-fit the building and more than $500,000 of federal CARES Act money to help fund the center’s first year of operation.

The Homeless Resource Day Center is located at 2450 Edison Ave. in Fort Myers. The building previously housed the Salvation Army’s Crossroads Program, which was phased out last year.

The Lee County Homeless Coalition’s most recent point-in-time count documented 444 homeless people in Lee County in January of 2020, of which nearly 21% were considered chronically homeless. The Coalition’s next point-in-time census of homeless individuals in the county is set for Wednesday, Jan. 27.

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