Programs in Lee County Florida offer a number of resources to the low income, seniors, and struggling families. Some services can offer direct financial assistance for expenses such as utility bills, rent, mortgage payments, and food. Other resources are offered to help Lee County residents gain self-sufficiency, such as job finding and employment programs.
Utility and electric bill assistance is available through several government funded programs. They include the Care To Share program (for Florida Power & Light), the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and emergency financial assistance is also offered for paying water bills and utilities if someone is faced with a disconnection.
Emergency Services Utilities is paid for by Lee County and Cape Coral tax dollars. Public assistance is provided in the form of direct cash payments to vendors such as landlords or utility companies. A number of criteria need to be met by applicants, including income thresholds. Also, due to limited funding, all programs are not necessarily in effect at any given time and only a limited amount of people may receive help.
Water bills can be paid for by the county if the family is faced with a disconnection and if the water bill has a past-due notice. Any payment made by Lee County Florida must prevent shutoff. In addition, any recipient needs to be able to demonstrate the ability to pay future month's water bills. Deposits to reconnect an account are not eligible for this emergency financial assistance.
If someone doesn’t get public assistance from LIHEAP or CTS, then Lee County may be able to offer some funding.
Get help with paying for housing expenses, including your mortgage, first month's rent, or security deposits from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds or from a resource offered and paid for by Lee County Ad Valorem tax dollars.
Any financial assistance provided is not in the form of cash to the applicant but rather payments are made directly to landlords or your apartment manager.
First month’s rent is only offered to families or individuals who are faced with imminent eviction and need new housing, or those who are homeless. Some examples in which first month’s rent can help a Lee County family include if an applicant is currently living in transitional housing or a shelter and has secured employment; an individual was given 24-hour notice of eviction; household disaster which results in current living situation being uninhabitable; need help fleeing an abusive situation; acceptance into a low-income housing community; approval for a Section Eight housing certificate or public housing voucher.
Lee County Human Services may provide cash for mortgage payments or rent to prevent an eviction. The applicant will need to document and prove an appropriate crisis has occurred that is not of their doing. The crisis must have interrupted their ability to maintain self-sufficiency over the short to midterm. Some examples of when rent or mortgage help may be provided include an unexpected, temporary loss of income due to loss of job, reduced work hours or a medical crisis, or domestic violence. Also if a family was faced with an unexpected expense such as emergency home repairs, car repairs (if work or medical need), funeral (immediate family only), or medical/dental bills.
The Lee Education & Employment (L.E.E.) Program can help people find a job and increase their skills. This program was recognized as a leading resource and was given the Public Service Excellence Award bestowed by the Public Employees Roundtable in Washington, D.C.
The L.E.E Program can help increase the income for low-income working families and the working poor by providing them a career path with upward mobility.
This Lee County service currently offers resources including a free, short-term Medical Office Skills Program that covers medical terminology, basic billing & coding, career development, customer service, general computer skills, medical office skills, and assistance with job placement and resumes.
Participants in the Lee Education & Employment (L.E.E.) Program will receive books, paid tuition, school supplies, and they may even receive financial assistance with paying for childcare, transportation, and other needs and support services.
A resource known as the Lee County Housing Rehabilitation Program is run by the Housing Services organization. This government assistance program can help make repairs to qualified low-income homeowners. Some of the repairs offered include, but are not limited to, window and door repair/replacement; Electrical; Termite treatment; Roof replacement or repair; Septic repair/replacement; Heating, Plumbing and Air Conditioning; as well as Well repair/replacement.
The Coast2Coast Rx Prescription Discount Card Program can help all Lee County and Cape Coral Florida residents save money on their prescription medications. This discount card is free to sign up for and can help all county residents, regardless of their income, health status, or age save on the cost of their medications. Most pharmacy chains and most independent pharmacies in Lee County Florida accept the card. It saves on average 45% off the cost of medications.
Weatherization is paid for by public and government dollars, but administered by Human Services. This energy conservation program identifies areas of major energy loss within the homes of qualified Lee County families. Apartments and homes are made weather-tight through minor updates and any necessary repairs including insulation; weather-stripping; caulking; minor structural repairs; replacing broken window glass and door thresholds; maintenance or replacement of heating and cooling units; and termite treatment. Priority is given to applicants with children under 12 years of age; Persons 60 years of age or older; and disabled individuals.
Call Lee County Human Services at (239) 533-7900 for details.
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