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Single mom being forced out of home gets help from Punta Gorda Housing Authority

There is now hope for a single mother in need of a home.

Jennifer Cooks and her three children in Punta Gorda are being forced out of their low-income housing after her landlord’s property failed inspection.

The family has nowhere to go, but help is on the way.

Alexandra is Jennifer Cooks’ oldest child. She is bedridden, and can’t walk, talk or eat solid foods. In Cooks’ eyes, her daughter is perfect, but her home is not.

“When the septic overflows, the sewage comes up through the drains, and this is all fecal matter,” Cooks said.

Because of the constant sewage backup inside and out, a Section 8 inspector told Cooks she and her kids need to move out immediately.

“I got an email yesterday from a concerned citizen about the issue you were having here,” Charlotte County Commissioner Joe Tiseo said.

Tiseo stopped by to see the damage for himself. Together, we called Cooks’ landlord.

The landlord told us she is working on the sewage problems, but that won’t do Cooks any good. She must move out through no fault of her own.

Just when she needed a break, Cooks got one.

“We will expedite your paperwork for your new home,” said Kurt Pentelecuc, the executive director of Punta Gorda Housing Authority.

Pentelecuc showed up to the family’s home. As the man in charge of the housing authority, he delivered paperwork about their Section 8 needing to be transferred. It’s a work in progress, and the first house they located did not work out, but it is a step in the right direction.

“It gives you such a warm feeling,” Cooks said. “People are still trying to help other people.”


Help is available for Charlotte County families in need. Call 211 on your phone for assistance from United Way of Charlotte County.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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