Lee County Homeless Coalition Inc

Compassion | Commitment | Community

Fort Myers, FL   |  leehomeless.org

Mission

To advocate, educate and promote awareness of issues and obstacles facing homeless individuals in Lee County throught community collaboration, planning and implementing solutions.

Ruling year info

2009

executive director

Therese Everly

Main address

1500 Colonial Blvd Ste 235 % Therese Everly

Fort Myers, FL 33907 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-4577956

NTEE code info

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Make homelessness preventable whenever possible or otherwise rare, brief and a 1 time experience

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Grant

The Coalition works with individuals and agencies to identify potential gaps within our local continuum of homeless care. Each year we use profits from our fundraisers to assist our member agencies who may have encountered diminished funding, an increase in need or who want to address a specific issue. The Coalition distributed a survey inquiring to agency needs. The Coalition was pleased to be able to offer $30,000 in funding to our agencies and assist those who needed help. The following member agencies received funding.

Affordable Homeownership Foundation $2,000 Beacon of Hope, Pine Island $2,000
Better Together $2,000 Cape Coral Caring Center, Inc. $1,500
Community Assisted and Supported Living, Inc. $1,000 Community Cooperative, Inc. $1,000
Eternal Homes & We Care Outreach $2,500 Goodwill Industries of SWFL, Inc. $2,000
Island Coast Helping Hands $500 Midwest Food Bank Florida $3,500
Premier Mobile Health Services $1,000 St. Martin de Pores Outreach $2,000
St. Matthew’ House $1,000 St. Vincent de Paul CARES $1,000
The Salvation Army Ft. Myers Area Command $7,000

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Social and economic status
Health
Family relationships
Ethnic and racial groups

This year Homeless Service Day and "Stand Down" events looked different due to the COVID Pandemic, we resorted to smaller group out reach to include a vaccine clinic, and a back pack program, items were distributed to partnering agencies for their respective outreach. “Stand down” is a military term describing soldiers taking care of other soldiers in a safe, secure place. The goal of this event was to provide services that can help break the cycle of homelessness and encourage hope, vision, and health. Last year’s event was held at City Gate Ministries located in Fort Myers. We serve approximately 300 people at the Homeless Service Day and Veterans Stand Down. We have over 200 volunteers participating in the event.
There are approximately forty agencies and community groups providing services. Local providers assisted with services such as clothing, mental health referrals, substance abuse referrals, immunizations and health screenings, employment, housing services, veteran’s benefits, Social Security, spiritual counseling, haircuts, and transportation. Participants received back packs, resource books, hygiene kits, bus passes, tarps, blankets, flashlights, food bags, and army surplus items. Hot meals were provided. Participants are offered flu, pneumonia, and tetanus shots. Lee County Domestic Animal Services provides limited veterinarian services for those who had pets. All participants are asked to complete a survey for the Annual Census Blitz. The success of this event is due to the wonderful collaboration of agencies and volunteers who come together to help the community.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Family relationships
Health
Social and economic status

Every year, the Coalition and its volunteers conduct a Point in Time (PIT) census to count the number of people experiencing homelessness and provide data to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The PIT count is also used to gather the information that allows local service providers to target services to meet the specific needs of the homeless in our communities. Due to the global pandemic, HUD allowed CoC’s to file for exceptions and forgo counts if they had counted the previous year. Knowing how important the PIT count is, we decided to continue with it but change our method.

We wanted to maintain the health and safety of the individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness along with the volunteers and staff during an in-person count. We determined that using a mobile phone app (ArcGIS), in place of a paper survey would allow volunteers, with varying degrees of infection control training, to participate in data collection delivering the survey based on their individual skill and comfort level. To maximize survey collection and minimize duplication, we targeted regions to be covered and engaged outreach workers, local law enforcement, college students, and human service partner agencies to participate over 24-hours. In past years, we counted over multiple days as HUD allows service-based counts to be conducted within a 7-day period. In the past, we would host an event, the Homeless Service Day and Veteran Stand Down, where data was also collected. This year we were concerned about spreading the virus therefore, limited the count to a 24-hour period. A virtual training was held on January 26 for the 60 PIT volunteers. Those participating in the survey were provided resource guides and bus passes.

The PIT count, which asked people where they slept the night of January 26, 2021, included both sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families. The PIT count documented 394 homeless persons, of whom fifty-seven (14.47%) were chronically homeless according to the HUD definition. HUD defines chronic homelessness as “an unaccompanied adult homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either continuously been homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.” Among the 394 homeless persons surveyed, 29.44% percent reported having a disabling condition. Also, among the 394 were thirty families with sixty-five children. There were 39 veterans recorded in the PIT count, 35 of which were active in a Rapid Rehousing program working with a case manager to obtain housing. Data obtained through the Lee County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and PIT count found that during the year, there were an estimated 2,789 people experiencing homelessness in Lee County.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Family relationships
Health
Social and economic status

The Lee County Homeless Coalition participated in 17 activities / Events that promoted awareness and education of homeless needs in our area. We continued our Awareness Campaign, which included advertising on a bus bench and a Holiday commercial spot on WINK-TV. We were also active in 95 committee /membership meetings and training and increased our social media presence.
The Lee County Pocket Guide to Emergency Assistance (Green Book) was updated and printed twice this year. The booklet was provided to those who needed services and to service providers and agencies. To save cost on printing, the Coalition designed a “Homeless Survival Guide”. This guide is a one-page document that lists many of the agencies that provide service to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It is a smaller version of the Green Book that is placed on the website available for download and printing. These resource guides can be found on our website. When our community was shut down due to the coronavirus, the Coalition sent out weekly updates on agency hours, program suspensions, and any changes to agency operational procedures. We also distributed a document with free meal sites and food pantries. The Coalition provides referral information and helps those in need make connections that could help them avoid homelessness. This year the Coalition was able to assist 1006 individuals by referring them to services.
Over 950 All Day bus passes were provided to the community during the many outreach events our member agencies provided. With funds provided by Human and Veteran services, we have been able to purchase 31-day bus passes. These bus passes are distributed to the Lee County Sheriff Office Re-entry unit, Children’s Network of SWFL, and to our community-based agencies who provide Rapid Rehousing services. The bus passes are used for individuals that need transportation for the purpose of employment, housing search, or obtaining social services.
The Coalition advocated for homeless needs during the 2021 Legislative Session. We kept abreast of the issues and sent out action alerts when necessary. Letters were written and phone calls were made to our local legislatures. We participated in conference calls with PinPoint Results, a governmental and business development consulting firm that represents the Florida Coalition for the Homelessness (FCH). FCH and PinPoint Results worked together to successfully implement legislative and executive agendas that represent the interest of Florida’s twenty-seven Continuums of Care.
This partnership has yielded significant results. They continue to assist us in establishing our priorities and advocating for them. Our unified advocacy efforts resulted in a successful FY 2021 Legislative Session.
Important funding, like the Challenge and Staffing Grants, were secured. These funding sources are vital to helping us continue our local work to combat homelessness. The Challenge Grant provides a flexible source of funding for CoCs. Most government funding comes with a robust set of regulations. Challenge Grants allow CoCs to fill the gap where other grants cannot be used and respond to their unique and pressing needs. The Staffing Grant provides administrative funding that CoCs can leverage to build their capacity to create effective crisis response systems. We continue to join with a host of stakeholders to raise awareness of the tremendous need for more affordable and supportive housing in our communities.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Family relationships
Health
Social and economic status

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners officially proclaimed the month of November as “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month." This is a time designated to educate the public and bring awareness to the needs of the homeless. Each year, the Coalition hosts a homeless challenge in mid-November to correspond with Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month. The Lee County Homeless Coalition sponsored several events during November to engage the community. This year’s Homeless Challenge, “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes”, took place on November 21.
Those participating in “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” became familiar with the social services network and methods of everyday survival. The activity was designed to educate and promote awareness. Participants joined together for a meal and walked several miles to visit various homeless provider agencies and shelters. This year, we began our challenge at the Lee County Jail CORE Facility and the event had a “reentry theme”. The day’s agenda was a bit shorter due to Covid restrictions, but included discussions with law enforcement, emergency room staff, and some of our partner agencies. The goal was to have participants come away with a better understanding of the scope of the problem and how the system dealt with the hardships of homelessness.
For those unable to attend a “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes”, there were other ways to participate in National Homeless Awareness Month. Individuals were encouraged to collect or donate non-perishable food or clothing, volunteer professional services to provide aid to the homeless, ask their employer or school to host or sponsor a fundraising event, donate funds to a nonprofit shelter, food pantry or support “FPL’s Care to Share” program.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Family relationships
Health
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of individuals in our community experiencing homelessness.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Homeless people

Related Program

Annual PIT Census Blitz

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

2021 total was 394 Due to the COVID 19 pandemic the annual Point in Time count process had to be amended in an effort to keep volunteers and the homeless safe. It is possible this is an undercount.

Number of Veterans experiencing homelessness in Lee County

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Victims of conflict and war

Related Program

Annual PIT Census Blitz

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

2021 There were 39 veterans recorded in the PIT count, 35 of which were active in a Rapid Rehousing program working with a case manager to obtain housing.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

*Advocate, Educate and promote awareness of homeless issues.
*Adopt best practices and coordinate our system.
*Have a systematic response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise Rare, Brief and Non-recurring experience.

Assist with the development of the local homeless assistance CoC plan.
Inventory local resources.
Review services and identify unmet needs.
Eliminate duplication and maximize the use of limited resources.
Develop community resource directory.
Develop public education and outreach initiatives.
Collect and compile information related to the homeless population.

We work closely with the lead agency to plan, network, coordinate and monitor the delivery of services to the homeless in Lee County. We rank community projects prior to submitting the CoC grant to HUD. We conduct a PIT annual count of the homeless in our community. We meet with our local legislative representatives and advocate for homeless needs. We provide referral and outreach to the community. We survey local providers and develop a resource guide. We offer presentations throughout the community to educate the public on homeless issues.

Our CoC is currently working on housing 100 individuals in 100 days which surpassed its goal, we are now on the second round of housing 110x100days, we are on target to exceed this goal. The CoC has also implemented and family Transition Collaborative to house families and committed couple we are seeing great outcomes thus far.
Our membership has increased and we have become more visible to our community thru projects and presentations.

Financials

Lee County Homeless Coalition Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Lee County Homeless Coalition Inc

Board of directors
as of 8/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Chair Amelia Davies

CDM Smith

Term: 2021 - 2022


Board co-chair

Amy Yearsley

City of Cape Coral

Term: 2021 - 2022

William Rodriguez

U.S. Social Security Department

Amy Yearsley

City of Cape Coral

Pat Epifanio

Parish Nurse

Dion Freeman

City of FM Police Lt.

Gaile Greenhoot

former City Council person

Dale Korzec

BB&T now Truist

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/24/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data