Lee County will receive $3.8 million in federal funds to combat homelessness
The federal government has announced $5 billion dollars to help states with affordable housing for the homeless or those on the verge of it.
Millions are headed to Southwest Florida to help people like Heiki Rudolph, who is laying on a tarp along U.S. 41 in North Fort Myers.
“I’ve been on and off the streets, sleeping on sidewalks and on the streets,” Rudolph said.
For weeks, she has been watching the cars pass across from North Shore Park. Rudolph is plagued with mounting health problems and said it has been excruciatingly difficult.
“I feel like a dog on the street. I feel like a stray dog. Psychologically it has been extremely difficult.”
She believes more needs to be done to help those in her situation.
U.S. Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge announced the Biden administration wants to put people in permanent housing.
Lee County will get $3.8 million to combat homelessness.
Fudge thinks more needs to be done to help create affordable housing.
“We know that there is a shortage but we also know, even those who work every day, especially if they’re at minimum wage level or below, that it is difficult for them to even get into the housing market because of the cost of housing,” said Secretary Fudge
Others living and working in Fort Myers fear housing costs are rising faster than wages. Keeping a home could become even more difficult.
Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson believes the federal money should be used for more than just housing.
“I think ideally if we can funnel those dollars to treatment, counseling whatever it takes to change behaviors to help people get out of the cycle of being homeless,” Anderson stated.
The money coming from the federal government is expected to arrive in Lee County in a few weeks.
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