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Candlelight vigil for 16 who died homeless planned Wednesday at the Old Lee County Courthouse

File photo
Special to WGCU

Affordable housing is an issue that has only been exacerbated since Hurricane Ian. To bring awareness to the alarming situation, the Lee County Homeless Coalition is hosting its 26th annual Candlelight Vigil Wednesday evening in downtown Fort Myers.

"Once a year, the Lee County Homeless Coalition coordinates a candlelight vigil, which is going to be this Wednesday night at 6 on the front steps of the Commissioners chambers," said Roger Mercado, director of Lee County Department of Human and Veteran Services. "It allows the opportunity for residents to come out, family members, partner agencies and for the community to recognize and honor those folks that may have lost their lives while living down the street, or maybe they were recently housed and passed away."

Mercado described what happens at the event: "If we have information on the individual, the name of the deceased will be read. A candle is lit in their honor, and then there's time for people to also add a few messages if they want, as part of the ceremony."

The Lee County Homeless Coalition Candlelight Vigil is Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. on the steps of the Old Lee County Courthouse at 2120 Main in downtown Fort Myers.