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Cape Coral United Way House opens

By Staff | Aug 6, 2019

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties had 16 United Way Houses, but none of them were in the largest city between Tampa and Miami.

On Tuesday that changed as the United Way held a grand opening for its new house in Cape Coral at 1105 Cultural Park Blvd., next to City Hall.

Agency partners and Mayor Joe Coviello were there to celebrate the facility that will serve the residents of Cape Coral, from providing meals and food to helping women with their resumes to find them good-paying jobs.

Laura Guarino of SalusCare and the United Way House liaison said the idea is to bring these important agencies to city residents and those in nearby communities.

“Services are needed here and it will help provide more resources to the residents of Cape Coral. This is a great venture and the services are needed,” Guarino said.

Jeannine Joy, president and CEO of the United Way, said the agency had a house in Cape Coral, but there wasn’t a place for them to put enough agencies at an affordable price until SalusCare offered to give them space.

Roy said there aren’t many social services in the area, and this will bring resources to their fingertips.

“There are a lot of people who need help, especially with kids going back to school and families living paycheck to paycheck,” Roy said. “Sometimes it’s those little things in life that these agencies can help them get through.”

Among the agencies housed in the facility will be SalusCare, which will be the lead agency, Cape Coral Caring Center, Goodwill Job Links, Hope Clubhouse, Literary Council Gulf Coast, Lee County Legal Aid Society, the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Southwest Florida, the Salvation Army and the United Way.

Julie Ferguson, executive director of the Cape Coral Caring Center, said on Mondays and Thursdays the center will provide breakfast and food for anyone who comes in.

“We’re here so people can be fed and make sure people understand about what’s available at the United Way House,” Ferguson said. “Thanks to SalusCare and the United Way for us to be here. We look forward to helping people who need help.”

Goodwill Job Links Service will be at the center Mondays. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide job placement services, interview skills, resume writing and computer help.

Hope Clubhouse will be there Tuesdays from 1-4:30 p.m. to help adults with mental illness, and other agencies will be there throughout the week to offer their services.

Val Otarola, community impact coordinator for the United Way, said the organization is happy to be at the location to provide services that will be much needed.

“It was about getting the organizations together and see what the need really is. Now, we have this facility and everything is working perfect,” Otarola said.