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Transitioning out of homelessness not as simple as finding a home



A half million dollars to fight homelessness in La Crosse has recently been targeted for criticism by the La Crosse county Republican party.

Party chair Bill Feehan suggested that money is better spent fixing roads.

Project manager for the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness, Julie McDermid disagrees. She says her group’s work is valuable, although she admits it can be tough at times to transition people out of homelessness.

“When they do move out into housing into their own apartment, that can be a really hard transition for a person who has never know that kind of stability,” she said.

McDermid said that finding a home for the homeless can be a little easier than keeping that home. Until this point, though, McDermid says her group has been very successful at sustaining placement of the homeless.

McDermid says that’s because they have to shift their mindset from a communal street living environment to one that involves more self reliance.

“It’s really hard for a lot of our folks who have been homeless — and we do have a lot of people here in La Crosse who have been homeless a really long time — to make that transition,” she said.

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