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As I See It

Neighboring cities dump their homeless on La Crosse’s doorstep




La Crosse has taken many steps to reduce the problem of homelessness in the city. Groups like the Collaborative to End Homelessness have worked with landlords to secure permanent housing, and other groups have built apartments specifically for homeless military veterans. But the problem of homelessness continues in La Crosse. And it appears some of La Crosse’s neighbors may be making the problem worse. We’re told that when police in Onalaska and Holmen encounter a homeless person on their streets, their response is to bring them to the La Crosse Salvation Army. But the Salvation Army doesn’t have unlimited space, and when they are turned away, they often turn up on the streets in that part of town, or in nearby city parks. La Crosse’s efforts to help the homeless are being hampered by neighboring communities dumping their problem on our doorstep. Its like the old days of taking a drifter to the county line and sending them on their way. That doesn’t solve the problem, it only moves it. If Onalaska and Holmen have a problem with homelessness, they should work to address it themselves. Maybe they need their own Salvation Army, or some other facility where the homeless can get the help they need. La Crosse will never be able to get a handle on homelessness if our neighbors to the north keep expecting La Crosse to make their problems go away.

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    October 5, 2019 at 6:52 am

    You’re right Onalaska Holmen and other communities should provide resources to assist families to keep their residence. The damage to students affected by homelessness is life changing.

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