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La Crosse nurses organize event to help homeless suffering from COVID-19 shelter restrictions

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The Coronavirus pandemic poses yet another concern for the homeless community.

Registered Nurse Katie Kramer helps with the medical specialty unit in La Crosse that serves many of the homeless population, people with behavioral health concerns, or those struggling with addiction.

“Most of our shelters here in town are only able to operate at a much lower capacity due to the COVID-19 regulations, and they have a lot less access to potential resources,” Kramer said.

That’s why she and her colleagues got together to create the Hearts in the Park event. Scheduled for Sept. 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army parking lot, Hearts in the Park will offer an opportunity to help those who need medical aid. Anyone wishing to help can make monetary donations, or drop off supplies such as hygiene products, medical kits, winter clothes, food, and more during the event.

“These people need more love now more than ever,” Kramer said. “We appreciate all of the support from the La Crosse community, the hospital volunteers, and contributing organizations. With your help, we can bring this love and aid to all of the hearts in the park.”

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.