Published: Dec 08, 2010 9:35 PM EST
Updated: Dec 08, 2010 6:45 PM EST

A home health care job fair drew a very large crowd of applicants in Fort Myers.
Many of the job-seekers have been looking for work for months, even years.   Some voiced desperation, as they struggle to hold on to their homes and families.

"It is disheartening and frustrating.   I have contemplated committing suicide.  But we can't afford the burial, so that is no good!," said Christine Becker.   She was applying for work with some of the 11 home health care companies.   "My partner is helping with odds and ends jobs, but I need a full-time job, immediately!   We have a mortgage to pay and utilities and all the rest.  It is getting to the point that I must get work, stat!," said Becker.

The companies held the fair at the offices of Southwest Florida Works on Ford Ave. in Ft. Myers.   That used to be the Career Service Center.

"It is very much a struggle," said Catherine Schuler.  "My husband has been out of work for 2 years, and I am working 3 part time jobs.   I need full-time.   It is very stressful."

Companies would not say how many jobs they are looking to fill.  But they range from health care aide, to physical therapist.   Pay starts at 11 dollars an hour, and ranges up to 80 dollars per home visit for Physical  Therapy. 

"These are good jobs, and we are looking for the kind of person who can walk into a home and make herself or himself the most important person to the client.   They have to take charge and take care of problems.  That puts the family at ease," said Jaimee Thompson of Abby Services.

The final count shows that more than 100 people applied for jobs with the various companies.