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Homeless community removed from Centennial Park in Fort Myers

Posted at 10:50 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 22:50:25-04

FORT MYERS, Fl — Some controversial construction removes a homeless community from downtown Fort Myers.

The city closed Centennial Park for renovation on Monday, but a large group using its pavilion as a shelter didn't budge right away.

RELATED: Centennial Park renovation plans receiving major pushback

But by noon on Friday, the gates were closed.

Lee County says the homeless group was either relocated or removed.

County leaders say their homeless outreach team came out to the park around 7:30 am to help.

They say several local non-profits, law enforcement, and Lee Tran worked hours to relocate those accepting their assistance.

By the time the gates closed, the county says about a dozen were transported to shelter or family homes.

The remaining others were forced out on their own.

"Every homeless person has an individual need and a very unique case, so it’s not a one size fits all approach," Lee County Assitant City Manager Marc Mora says.

"We understand that, but I would encourage anybody that’s hitting those roadblocks with any of the partners or services that we have, that’s the rule of our human services team. I would very highly strongly suggest that they reach out to human services.”

Centerstone Behavioral Health Services was one of the non-profits out this morning.

They assisted with evaluations before helping some into vehicles to relocate.

Beyond the fence line, you can still see some personal belongings left under the pavilion.

Centerstone tells FOX 4 they're giving owners time if they want to claim their belongings.