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As I See It

With winter coming, La Crosse moves slowly in housing homeless



Unless you’ve just moved to the area, you know it happens ever year at about this same time. The weather begins to turn colder, and soon winter will arrive. Many make preparations for the impending winter, putting down the storm windows and bringing the patio furniture inside. But the city of La Crosse seems surprised that soon we will be battling the cold and snow. Despite insisting that it is a top priority to address the city’s homeless problem, city hall waited until November to come up with a plan for providing shelter for the homeless. The largest of La Crosse’s homeless population has been living in Houska Park in tents that won’t provide much protection from the coming cold. So the city is again planning to provide rooms at local motels to house the homeless during the winter months. The city has followed this plan before, but this year, thanks to federal money, the $700,000 it could cost to rent the rooms will come from the federal government. It seems this could have been done months ago, well before the weather turned. Catholic Charities opened its warming shelter downtown for the season this week. If a handful of volunteers can get ready to help the homeless in a timely fashion, then it seems city hall certainly should be able to do so as well.

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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