FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

Contact:   Ann Arnall, Lee County Department of Human Services
                (941) 652-7930




FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 6, 2002) – Lee County Government and the United Way of Lee County today launched a searchable Internet database of local Human Services organizations that will make it easier to match those needing help with the appropriate agencies. 

The database is at under “Lee County Information.” 

It has contact and descriptive information on 350 local human and social services organizations and agencies.  The database can be searched by agency name, geographic area, category of services needed, or keyword.  Participating agencies also can access their information to have it updated on an ongoing basis. 

Examples of categories of services include: “Abuse Prevention,” “Emergency Financial Assistance,” “Housing,” “Medical Support,” and “Youth Housing,” among many, many others. 

“This is a powerful tool, not only for residents seeking assistance, but for public agencies – such as the Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Medical Services – when they come in contact with the indigent and are making a determination about who to contact for help,” said Ann Arnall, the county’s Deputy Human Services Director. 

“Because the information is maintained by the agencies themselves, it also will save hundreds of hours annually spent collecting agency data for a paper directory,” Arnall added. 

The database application was developed by Dallas, TX-based Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), the county’s contract provider of information technology services.  ACS also is developing an online application for residents wishing to register for Lee County’s Parks & Recreation facilities and programs. 

Lee County Human Services provides a complement of integrated services to low-income families and disadvantaged neighborhoods, including emergency financial assistance, housing assistance, counseling services, housing rehabilitation, neighborhood infrastructure improvements and neighborhood building, and services for the homeless.  The department employs 42 people and has a Fiscal Year 2002 budget of $16.9 million.