Homeless people living at a Cape Coral bank sheds light on a major issue

Posted at 10:41 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 06:27:00-04

A makeshift homeless camp at a vacant bank in Cape Coral is raising questions about the lack of homeless shelters in Florida's 10th largest city.

At first glance you might not notice someone sleeping under a blanket in the drive thru of a vacant bank along Cape Coral Parkway. 

"It's not how any of us want to live; none of us wants to live like us," said a woman living at the bank who did not want to be identified. She told Four In Your Corner her teenage daughter attends school in Southwest Florida. 

A curb at the drive thru is now used as a shelf for drinks and food.  

"Its hard out here; we struggle everyday to do what we gotta do," said one man as tears streamed down his face.

A small bottle of vodka was left lying on a thin crochet blanket that four of the homeless people use to sleep on; a sign of what brought them to homelessness. 

They're forced to seek shelter where they can because there aren't any homeless shelters in Cape Coral. 

"We're out here for a reason because we have no where else to go," said one woman. 

The nearest shelter is in Fort Myers, an area this group purposely avoids. They believe it's too dangerous. 

"Too many shootings, too many stabbings, and robbing," said one man.

The Program Director of the Salvation Army of Fort Myers told Four In Your Corner there's a dire need for more beds for the homeless. 

"I could see a need for Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres to be honest," said Shannon Cherizer. "We see a need for shelters, and they don't exist as of now," said Cherizer.

While we were there, we saw a good Samaritan offering food and compassion. 

"We all have demons you know, you can't judge because these guys are just hungry," said Karla Alden. 

"Nobody wants to live like this," said a woman living outside of the vacant bank.