Everyone has forgotten your name. You pace endless streets in tattered shoes with soaked clothes against the skin of your back. The only place to sleep is a bus shelter, where you become invisible in a frenzied world of strangers.
Worse, no one can sense your hunger pains as they grow stronger every day.
“People don’t want to see the homeless problem,” Justin Boushay said at a Food Not Bombs gathering. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Boushay is a local volunteer of the Food Not Bombs movement. Volunteers work for nonviolent social change and attempt to address serious problems at no cost to the government.
Every Sunday, the group feeds the homeless in Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers.
“It’s scary to think that people would want to hide the homeless situation from you,” Boushay said.
The Lee County Homeless Coalition took a census of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals with families the night of Jan. 25. The census documented 1,054 homeless persons. Among the people surveyed were 83 families with 145 children.
“We saw the community and how people couldn’t even afford living space,” Boushay said. “They could barely provide themselves with the right nourishment.” He views hunger as a big issue in Lee County and something that everyone deserves to be aware of.