FORT MYERS, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2013) – With Southwest Florida temperatures expected to decrease in the coming months, Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc., in partnership with Lee County Human Services, the Lee County Homeless Coalition and the Salvation Army, requests volunteers and donations for its Cold Weather Street Outreach, a program created to provide those living without shelter some additional comfort during the evening hours of Southwest Florida’s colder months.

The Cold Weather Street Outreach is activated when Southwest Florida temperatures drop below 40 degrees and is scheduled Monday through Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. between the months of October to March. During this time, CCMI staff and on-call volunteers, who complete the Cold Weather Street Outreach training program, will prepare and distribute coffee, hot chocolate, blankets, jackets and winter caps to the homeless in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas.

In addition to these distributed materials, CCMI is also asking for donated to-go cups with lids, Cambro beverage containers, cooler dispensers and coffee-pump thermoses.

CCMI will recruit volunteers and use its current volunteer application as well as conduct background checks to ensure those interested are eligible to volunteer. The process to become certified for street outreach involves a brief orientation via telephone, email or in person, 30-minute classroom training and completion of a ride-along shift with experienced team members. Volunteer drivers are required to submit a copy of a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and signature of waiver as a volunteer driver.

Volunteers will be asked to meet at one of CCMI Everyday Café locations either in Cape Coral at 1005 Cultural Park Boulevard or in Fort Myers at 3429 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard before and after each shift for preparation and cleanup.

CCMI is an innovative nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 15,000 meals each month through its Everyday Cafés and Marketplaces and Meals on Wheels programs. CCMI also offers homeless and comprehensive life coaching services through its United Way Resource Houses, oversees an emergency mobile food pantry and supplies school pantries and weekend backpacks full of food to more than 1,500 children and their families each school year.

CCMI serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres. CCMI works in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, Harry Chapin Food Bank and various community foundations as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community-support organizations.

For more information about CCMI’s Cold Weather Street Outreach or to become a volunteer, contact Roger Mercado at 239-332-7687 or