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Moore About Business: Homeless in the business community

Credit Math3ny via Flickr-Creative Commons

Today we’re talking about homelessness. Believe it or not, someone working with you could be facing homelessness. I know someone very close to me facing this situation: do you?

Holly Smith, Lee County Horizon Council Chair, City of Sanibel Mayor and Sanibel business owner, said, “The faces of homelessness are changing.”

“You may have an employee facing this that you don’t know about.”

To delve into this issue, members of the Lee County Human & Veteran Services department recently spoke to an audience of local business owners.

This department is a collaborative hub for resources to support community-based, nonprofit agencies in providing social service programs to meet diverse human service needs in Lee County.

Department Director, Roger Mercado, explained that Human & Veteran Services is there to help people, possibly your workmates, cross the bridge from homelessness, or from facing homelessness, to personal success.

“How do we help you become more successful based on the goals you have set for yourself." Mercado asked. " If that’s employment, if that’s going back to school, if that is re-unifying the family, whatever that is, whatever you decide, we try to help support that with the partners we have in the community and as long as the individual is working towards those goals, we will help them offset their rent or utilities."

He continued, “The key though is when they are gainfully employed, which many of them are, that they actually pay a portion of that rent and our subsidy goes down every month based on their ability to pay that rent or utility moving forward.”

Look around you. If a workmate is sleeping in his/her car, how productive can they be at work? If you or someone you know are facing or experiencing homelessness, call 239-533-7996 or log on to www.leegov.com/dhs for more information.

Publisher of SWFL Business Today