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Bonita Springs volunteer organization helping rebuild a community that's felt forgotten since Ian

Camp Bonita Hope
Posted at 4:10 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 20:04:27-05

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — On Tuesday, some people living in Bonita Springs said the path to rebuilding after Ian was being paved by the same people living in their communities.

Some of those people belong to the completely volunteer-based organization, Camp Bonita Hope, run by Jay Belanger.

“Everybody has just kind of forgotten the hurricane but people are still living here they are living in their car, they are living in mold-ridden houses,” said Belanger.

Those conditions Belanger said volunteers have made it their mission to fix, by doing everything from helping with drywall replacement, to handing out more than 800 meals on Tuesday.

It is a gift, leaving those who lost everything, at a loss for words

“I don't know how to thank them, and to thank you too,” said one resident living near Imperial Shores Boulevard.

Along with Camp Bonita Hope, better access to recovery resources, also announced by Governor Ron DeSantis, with the first-ever state-led sheltering and housing program.

It's available online through the United Florida Recovery Portal.

A resource that could help communities like Bonita Springs down the road, a path Camp Bonita Hope said they will continue to walk with their community.

“I knew we were going to set up a camp, we are located in Bonita, but so many people had smiles on their faces realizing that there was going to be hope that we would get beyond this devastation,” said Belanger.

Click here to connect/ donate to Camp Bonita Hope.