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As I See It

No shortage of efforts to end homelessness



Despite a multitude of efforts by many groups, homelessness remains a significant problem in La Crosse. It seems no matter how hard people try, the problem gets worse instead of better. Lots of groups have been working to solve the problem, including Catholic Charities, the Coulee Collaborative to End Homelessness, Coulee Cap and the Franciscan Sisters. The city has tried a number of ways to address the homelessness problem. They tore down a homeless encampment known as Tent City in the La Crosse marsh. Many of the homeless set up camp at Cameron Park, so the city put in playground equipment so it would be illegal to drink in that park. That didn’t solve the problem, and now many who were living at Cameron Park are now in La Crosse’s Houska Park along the river. It seems we have simply swapped one Tent City for another. Dozens of tents are set up there to provide some sort of shelter, but not much when it pours or when the weather turns cold again. Now the city of La Crosse is talking of adding a Homelessness Coordinator to City Hall. That seems to make sense. With so many different groups working alone to solve the same problem, this is a chance to get them all working together. There is no shortage of effort to end homelessness in La Crosse, but so far it seems despite those efforts, the problem isn’t going away, it just keeps moving to new locations.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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