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Nonprofit and Fort Myers councilwoman working to serve homeless population after Hurricane Ian

JTS food truck
Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 20:15:40-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Councilwoman Terolyn Watson (Ward 3) partnered with homeless advocate Ramona Miller to set up a distribution site not only for those who are without hot water and electricity, but also for the homeless population.

“We are restoring some of the things that they lost. And this is not everything they lost but this is a good head start," said Ramona Miller, owner of the nonprofit A Voice in the Wilderness Empowerment Center.

Some of those basic needs include food.

"We have chicken wings, we have Griot for all of my Haitian people, fried plantain, coleslaw. We have everything," said the owner of the food truck JTS Food Service who was giving out free food.

JTS food truck giveaway

But that's not all. Baby formula, pampers, toys and laundry detergent were also given out.

“A lot of people lost their clothes rather it was the rain itself or the mildew," Miller said.

“Ian left us devastated, a lot of disaster in this area and I want to give a prayer out to anyone who didn’t make it," Councilwoman Watson said.

Councilwoman Terolyn Watson, Ward 3

Feminine hygiene products were given out as well.

Hygiene products giveaway

"We’ve been searching around the entire community trying to find out what people actually needed, and this is one of the main things on the list.”

The site was set up on Jackson Street, on the edge of downtown Fort Myers, that way it could be accessible to the targeted community.

“They are able to get here by walking, they are able to get here by the bus and it’s not too hard to pedal on a bicycle," Miller said.

Aiming to restore homeless population after Hurricane Ian

Ramona Miller is a homeless advocate, and she said this event is to provide the basic necessities to people after they regain electricity.

Ramona Miller, A voice in the Wilderness
Ramona Miller is a homeless advocate who owns the nonprofit A Voice in the Wilderness.

"Some people are also saying 'Hey, I lost everything but I’m still here,'” Councilwoman Watson said.

“Once the lights turn on and they are able to see what they have truly lost," Miller said.

But it's also for the homeless population, a group Miller said is often forgotten. No one from the population wanted to go on camera, but Fox 4's Briana Brownlee did ask Miller to share some of their stories.

“There were a couple here who weather the storm in the storm, they were outside and thank God they were able to survive," Miller said. "They were like we don’t have blankets; we don’t have food; we don’t have anything. Can you give me a backpack?”

This population also needs blankets and tarps. Miller said many in this population are truly lost at this time—Especially those who live in the woods whose shelter was destroyed by the rain and flooding from Hurricane Ian.

If you would like to donate to A Voice in the Wilderness, click here. Councilwoman Watson is also taking donations, click hereto donate.