The next step in ending homelessness in La Crosse looks like it will come in the form of some rental assistance.
A city council committee has backed funding a rental assistance program in partnership with the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness.
It’s a move backed by La Crosse police chief Ron Tischer, who said his officers frequently interact with the homeless.
“It’s troubling to see some of the people that are out on our streets,” Tischer said. “Some of it’s not their fault. Most of it’s not their fault. And I think as compassionate as this city and community is, that this would be a huge benefit to our homeless population.”
The city uses a mixture of grant and carryover funds for the $110,000 assistance program — $50,000 in grant money and $60,000 in carryover funds.
“This is another great step to ending homelessness in La Crosse,” Tischer said. “We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go.”
Recipients can utilize the funds for 18 to 24 months. They will also have to put 30% of their income towards rent. Part of the program is to direct social services to those in need.
It’s not a handout with no strings, said city council member Doug Happel, but one with safeguards and help to cure some of the root causes of homelessness.
“This is not the classic government program,” Happel said. “This is a program that really helps people.”