Hundreds turn to homeless and veterans event for help
FORT MYERS, Fla. - For many who lined up by City of Palms Stadium, everyday life is met with struggle.
"I consider myself homeless, yes," said Lori Pardee, of Fort Myers.
Pardee was laid off from a secretarial job in Kansas City a year-and-a-half ago.
"My number one goal is to get back in one of the Lee Memorial hospitals or any of the hospitals to get back to work," explained Pardee.
Veteran Steve Stevenson showed up hoping to qualify for physical therapy. He suffers from a painful spinal injury.
" You can't move, you cant sleep, you can't balance," said Stevenson, of Cape Coral.
They all come by for the 13th Annual Homeless Service Day and Veterans Stand Down in Fort Myers. It was free and open to anyone in need.
"On any given day in Lee County, there are nearly 3,000 homeless people, hundreds are children, veterans, families," said Neil Volz, a board member of the Homeless Coalition.
Organizers planned the event knowing things like haircuts and hats and kindness go a long way.
"It's our community holding out its arms and hugging on those people who are hurting right now," added Volz.
People like retired marine Gregory Watts was diagnosed with PTSD. "Clothes and extra food and stuff like that because I'm not eligible for food stamps because i make $10 dollars too much on my VA check," said Watts, of Lehigh Acres.
Formerly homeless, DJ Domingo pumped his jams at the stand down. A reminder there's help when life deals a difficult hand.
"Thank you," reflected Stevenson, "I'm glad i found out to come here today,"
If you couldn't make it today, you can still benefit from these services. Find out more information on the web at www.leehomeless.org or by calling 211.