These 5 Worst Neighborhoods in Lee County, Florida You Should Avoid in 2024


Lee County is a popular tourist and retirement destination, with plenty of sunlight, sandy beaches, and a variety of attractions. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that not all sections of the county are equally safe and desirable. Some communities see greater rates of crime, poverty, and social difficulties.

In this post, we will look at the five most problematic neighborhoods in Lee County, using statistics from the US Census Bureau, the FBI, and other sources. In addition, we investigate the causes that contribute to the challenges in these communities, as well as activities aimed at improving their situations.

1. Tice

Tice is an African American neighborhood in east Fort Myers near the Buckingham area. It has a long history that goes back to the 1880s when it was built as a stop on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Even though Tice has a lot of history, it is struggling economically and socially. The typical family income is $30,833, and 32.6% of people living there are poor. There is a lot of crime, drug abuse, and personal violence in the area. Not many people have finished school.

People who live in Tice, on the other hand, have a strong sense of community and pride, and they are all very close to each other. The Tice United Methodist Church, the Tice Elementary School, and the Tice Cemetery are all important sites in the area.

The Caloosahatchee River, the Billy Creek Preserve, and the Downtown River District are all close to Tice, which is a bonus. Advocacy groups, such as the Tice Community Initiative, which is made up of people, companies, and other groups, work together to make things better in Tice.

2. Dunbar

Dunbar is an area in Fort Myers that is mostly made up of African Americans. It has a past that goes back to the Jim Crow era and is deeply connected to racial segregation, discrimination, and crime. With a typical family income of $24,542 and a violent crime rate of 1,462 crimes per 100,000 people, it is one of the poorest and most crime-ridden parts of the county.

Dunbar has problems like not having enough affordable homes, good schools, health care, and job chances. There are also problems like drug abuse, gang activity, and police brutality.

Even with these problems, Dunbar has a lot of history and a strong sense of community. It is home to important sites like McCollum Hall, the Dunbar Community School, and the Williams Academy Black History Museum. Every year, events like the Dunbar Festival, the Dunbar Easter Parade, and the Dunbar Juneteenth Celebration take place in the area.

Also, Dunbar has changed for the better in recent years thanks to the work of local people, groups, and government leaders. The Dunbar-Michigan Corridor Redevelopment Plan, the Dunbar Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Dunbar Neighborhood Policing Program are all efforts to bring this lively neighborhood back to life.

3. Harlem Heights

Harlem Heights is in south Fort Myers, close to San Carlos Bay, and is mostly made up of Hispanic people. In the 1950s, it started as a town for migrant farmworkers. It grew when African Americans had to leave their homes because of urbanization.

There are a lot of people living in Harlem Heights, and 43.6% of households there are living in poverty. This makes it one of the poorest and most heavily populated places in the county. Harlem Heights has problems with its infrastructure, transportation, public services, and environmental risks like floods, mold, and bugs.

Still, Harlem Heights has a strong and lively community that is made up of people from many different countries, languages, and customs. There are many churches, schools, and companies in the neighborhood that serve the people who live there. The Heights Foundation, a committed non-profit, is a key part of making life better in Harlem Heights by providing programs and services like summer and after-school camps, adult education and job development, health and wellness, and arts and culture.

4. Suncoast  Estates

Suncoast Estates is in North Fort Myers, close to the line with Charlotte County. It is mostly made up of white people. Suncoast Estates was built in the 1960s as a mobile home park for seasonal residents. It is now run down and run down, with a typical family income of $28,750 and a poverty rate of 35.9%.

A burglary rate of 1,516 per 100,000 people and high rates of crime, especially property crime, make things even worse in the area. Some of the problems are bad homes, illegal dumping, code violations, and fire risks.

Still, Suncoast Estates has promise and chances, such as being close to the Bayshore Road Corridor, the Caloosahatchee River, and the Prairie Pines Preserve. Residents who care about their community came together to form the Suncoast Estates Civic Association to look out for their wants and interests. As part of its work, the union cleans up neighborhoods, applies for grants, and forms relationships with other groups and agencies.

5. Pine Manor

Pine Manor is a mostly Hispanic neighborhood in south Fort Myers, close to the Page Field airport. It was built in the 1950s and 1960s as a middle-class area. Pine Manor is one of the most varied and multicultural places in the county. Its 3,800 people come from more than 20 different countries and speak more than 20 different languages.

The neighborhood has a lot of different kinds of people, but it also has few tools and services. The typical household income is $29,375, and 40.2% of households are poor. Problems include a low rate of property, high rent prices, bad infrastructure, and limited access to jobs, healthcare, and education.

Still, Pine Manor has a lot of potential because it is in a great spot in the middle of everything, close to major roads, shopping areas, and job possibilities. Nonprofits, churches, and schools work together to help the community and offer a wide range of programs and services to the people who live there. In the area, the Pine Manor Improvement Association is a well-known group that runs a community center, a food pantry, a thrift store, and a training program for young people.

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