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Homeless woman makes plea to Obama

February 10, 2009

The most emotional question today at the Harborside Event Center where President Barrack Obama spoke came from Henrietta Hughes, who had kept waving her hand to get Obama's attention. He called on her toward the end of the hour-long presentation.

"Thank you Mr. President. I am praying for you," she said.

Almost with tears in her eyes, she pleaded for help.

She said she and her son lived in their small car and were homeless and moved around the county from night to night using showers and other facilities in the parks.

"I am in urgent need now. Please help," she pleaded.

Obama walked over to the woman and gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her he would be following up with her through an aide. It was reported that he met with her after the speech. Later in the afternoon, the wife of Rep. Nick Thompson said she owned a house she was trying to sell in Immokalee and that Hughes was welcome to move in and use it as long as she wanted.

Obama spoke before 1,500 people shortly after noon at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.

His plane touched down at about 12:15 p.m., 15 minutes later than planned. But his motorcade raced from Southwest International Regional Airport down Martin Luther King Blvd. into an entrance of the Harborside Event Center..

Security was tight all over Fort Myers, from the airport to the downtown area. Obama's route had not been released by the Secret Service for security reasons.

Obama took about 10 questions from the audience after his speech. He spoke of the plight in Fort Myers and "surrounding areas," but never specifically mentioned Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral.

During his speech, an aide gave him a note informing him that the U.S. Senate passed the Stimulus Package bill while he was speaking. Now it goes back to the House and the Senate and they will come up with a bill that can be delivered to the President's desk for signature.

His speech drew applause and later when he left people lined up the street on Edwards Avenue to see the caravan leave to go back to the airport., where he was expected to fly out of Fort Myers by 4 p.m.



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