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Homeless speak out at Lee county commission meeting

Posted at 7:05 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 19:05:24-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — The click of a key in a lock, is a sound most of us probably take for granted.

"I have been trying to get help actually since October," said Suzette Sanborn.

But for Sanborn, who has been struggling with homelessness for months, it's a sound she'll treasure.

"That's about the size of a bedroom, when I was needing a place to live I was begging for something like that," said Sanborn.

Sanborn says she called county services for help but claims she didn't get any.

"All I was ever told was there were no funds available. There is nothing to help you right now," said Sanborn.

So you can imagine her shock on Tuesday, when she showed up the county commission meeting to see that they were approving almost $1.8 million dollars in federal grant money, to help people like her.

"Where is all this money going? Because it's not going to the homeless," said Sanborn.

And she wasn't the only one to raise that issue.

Advocates from several local non-profits, also spoke up and asked the same thing, saying they can't get the funding they need to help the people who need it most.

After the meeting, we spoke to the Ramona Miller, the advocate who helped Suzette get her home.

"The people that the money is for, they're not being privileged to be able to benefit from the money," said Miller.

One advocate who works with veterans, Keith Campbell, says he tired of getting the run around from the county.

"I wanna see resignations at this point because no one stepped up," said Campbell.

The county said that it will be investigating the issues brought up at Tuesday's meeting and will assemble a task force to look into the money given to its human services department.

We've also reached out to the county commission chairman for comment and are waiting to hear back.