FORT MYERS, Fla. — Shadreka McIntosh grew up in the Dunbar community. She attended Franklin Park Elementary School. As a fourth generation native of this neighborhood, her first memories are trips with grandma to pharmacies miles away from home.
She later became Dr. Shadreka McIntosh, a pharmacist who’s now making sure that people who live where she grew up won’t have to travel that far to get the help they need.
“It’s filling a void that’s been here for a long time,” she said.
Sozo Wellness Pharmacy will have a holistic approach to health, providing on-site convenient care and meditative services after hours. Resources Dr. McIntosh says could help so many people here, but they don’t have access to it.
“One, the knowledge base is not there. The exposure is not there, but a lot of times it’s because of the financial means to be able to go pay for those types of things,” she said.
McIntosh hopes she’ll motivate the little boys and girls here who look like her.
“It means the most to come back to this community and be a presence for the young people that are coming up that need a source of inspiration,” she said.
Dr. McIntosh’s dream was made possible because of a $50,000 investment from Catalyst Community Capital, and a $220,000 investment from Southwest Florida Community Foundation.
Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s President and CEO Sarah Owen says last year they started an impact investment fund for people like Dr. McIntosh.
“The community foundation likes to walk alongside people who have big dreams, and seek possibility for changes, and support them,” she said. “Money is used to support underserved entrepreneurs. And, it’s also getting people in the position to start their own businesses, or to support a business that they had started.”
Sozo Wellness Pharmacy is set to open within the next couple months.