When you are homeless, finding a place to sleep is a challenge Every Single Night. If you are not homeless, there is no way to comprehend what this is like. There are about 200 shelter beds in Lee County and they’re always full. No one really knows for sure how many people are living outdoors at any given time in Southwest Florida. Point-in-time counts earlier this year listed 630. That number represents only those that could be found and those willing to be counted. Shelters can accommodate around half that number. Where do the homeless sleep? The woods, parking lots and cars, under a bridge or a public bench are the “beds” of choice. When you have no home, you sleep on a stone pillow.
Stone Pillow – All You Own in One Bag
Most homeless women carry what they own in a plastic bag. They are easy targets for theft and their safety is always at risk.
Shelters are the obvious choice when finding a place to sleep. They offer barracks style accommodation with rows of cots and its first come, first served. They fill up quickly and in Lee Country there aren’t many. They will not accept single women without children and if they do, they limit the number of nights.
Shelters have curfews and many homeless people prefer options without rules. Sleeping outdoors is free, nobody asks questions, and there are many places to choose from. Lightning, rain, and the random hurricane make it dangerous and there is no escaping the brutal heat of July and August.
If you are lucky enough to have a car, it’s an option that works only if you find a place to park it. Most businesses will not permit overnight parking and you have to stay one step ahead of illegal citations.
Homeless encampments are increasingly more common across the U.S. There’s no shortage of wooded lots, empty warehouses and other buildings where homeless men and women take shelter. For homeless single women, you have to settle for one of these options.
It Takes A Village
Angel Wings House helps women without children who are ineligible for existing programs. Our clients want to re-enter the work force, earn a living wage, and regain independence. We provide safe residence-style accommodation to assist them.
It is the first step in creating a much larger community of homes because we know it takes a village. There are many ways to contribute, including volunteer opportunities and donations, to turn the dream of Angel Wings Village into reality.
Angel Wings is accepting applications and doing interviews beginning July 20 with residency starting August 1st. Intake requirements include a background check and COVID testing. Contact us to learn more about our mission.
Become a Founding Angel with a gift of $1000
Become a Founding Archangel for a contribution of $5,000
Become a Sustaining Angel with a recurring monthly contribution.