Movement to end poverty in Lee County

Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 23:11:04-05

FORT MYERS, FLa.- With all the violent crime making headlines in Fort Myers, a breakfast on Saturday was held for officials, community leaders and members of the community to come together and work on ways to improve the lives of residents in Lee County. 

Judging by the headlines, violence is all synonymous with Dunbar. But Barry University Professor Irene Kepler says violence in other parts of the county are just as evident. 

"We hear about Dunbar on the news all the time because of some of the violence that's happening. But it's actually in Lehigh Acres, it's in Tice, it's in Pine Manor, it's in Suncoast Manor estates, it's in North Fort Myers." said Kepler. 

Kepler was one of the many leaders at the breakfast Saturday put on by "Pennies For Community Progress." Where she says despite Lee County's attractive numbers of employment, business development, and tourism- there's a bigger issue needing attention. 

"In Pine Manor 87 percent live in poverty. In Suncoast Estates- 62 percent, in the Dunbar community- 43 percent.

Mayor Randy Henderson was one of many community leaders at the program. Notably absent from the program, were county commissioners who didn't take part in the discussion. A discussion of an issue Mayor Henderson says he's confident commissioners will prioritize. 

"They're going to begin to engage in meaningful ways and I believe that's where we"re headed."