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More than $7 million available in SWFL tornado relief

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Posted at 10:40 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 06:45:29-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced the availability of more than $7.1 million in funding and resources to assist income-qualified individuals and families recovering from the impacts of the Jan. 16 tornadoes in Southwest Florida.

In addition, the DEO has deployed individuals to Charlotte and Lee counties to assist homeowners in need.

“Our thoughts are with all the families who are having to rebuild their homes and lives following the recent tornadoes in Southwest Florida,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “As a Southwest Florida native, this tragedy is particularly impactful to me.”

Available funding for Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is disbursed to local Community Action Agencies by DEO. DEO is working with the Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in Charlotte and Lee counties to provide CSBG and LIHEAP assistance to help impacted individuals and families meet their immediate needs.

Available Resources:

  • DEO is deploying team members to assist Charlotte and Lee county residents in their recovery efforts.
  • $1,610,686 in CSBG funding is available to assist eligible income-qualified households in Charlotte and Lee counties with attaining the skills, knowledge and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. Services may include the following:
    • Emergency health
    • Food
    • Housing
    • Debris Removal
    • Repair electrical wiring or gas lines
    • Personal documentation (Driver’s License, ID Cards)
    • Medical Supplies
    • Day Care
    • Transportation Assistance
    • Housing Counseling
    • Financial Management Assistance
    • Nutrition Programs
    • Community Gardening Projects
    • Food Banks
    • Job Counseling
    • Placement and Training Services
    • Homeless Prevention Programs
  • $5,515,917 in the LIHEAP is available to assist income-qualified families in Charlotte and Lee County with home heating and cooling costs. Services may include the following:
    • Home heating and cooling costs 
    • Utility relocation setup and deposits
    • Disaster related temporary housing
    • HVAC Replacement
    • Generator Purchase
    • Electrical Power Cable Connection
  • If you believe you may be eligible, you may contact the CAA serving the county in which you live to learn more about assistance programs.  
    • Charlotte County residents may visit the Charlotte County Human Services Department , 1050 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33980, PH:  941-833-6500.
    • Lee County residents may contact Lee County Human and Veteran Services, 2440 Thompson St., Fort Myers, FL 33901,  PH: 239-533-7930.