Connect with us

As I See It

Not in my backyard typical response to helping homeless



Sure, we should help the homeless. Just not in my backyard. That seems a common sentiment in La Crosse, which has been trying to provide some shelter and stability for the city’s homeless population. It seems no matter where the city finds space to house the homeless, people living nearby are against it. The city voted this week to spend more than $1 million in federal money to buy a motel on the far southside and convert it to temporary lodging for those who don’t have a place to call home. Neighbors in the area spoke out against the plan, citing concerns about drug use and crime among the homeless population. We heard that from neighbors of Houska Park which will serve as a campground for the homeless during the warmer months. And shockingly, Mayor Mitch Reynolds says the city’s first choice, the Chamber of Commerce building on La Crosse Street, was purposely sold to someone other than the city and county which hoped to convert it to a homeless shelter and offices for those providing resources to the homeless population. He says it was sold specifically so that it wouldn’t become a homeless shelter. People say we should help the homeless, but continue to stand in the way of efforts to do so. These people have to go somewhere, but too many continue to say “not in my backyard.” If we’re really going to help, it is going to have to be in someone’s backyard.

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.

Continue Reading


  1. John

    February 24, 2022 at 7:12 am

    Enabling and making the problem bigger and inviting more homeless that don’t want to help themselves is not helping. Simply buying a place for them to stay is not solving the problem, it’s prolonging and making it worse.

    Mr. Shaw, where do you live? How many homeless have you fed on your own dollar? How many have you invited into your home on a winters night or summer for a barbecue? We know the answer. Using tax dollars for this makes you feel good but taking money out of your check after taxes is never going to happen.

  2. Randy J Hubert

    February 24, 2022 at 7:56 am

    How are we dealing with the drugs and alcohol abuse which leads to theft and other illegal activities. I am all for helping the homeless but it should include drug & alcohol testing. Mandatory treatment and if they don’t want to help themselves stop enabling them to continue the cycle. If they are handicapped give training to enter the work force. Mental health issues should be treated and if there is no treatment they need to be institutionalized.

  3. Thomas Lane

    February 24, 2022 at 11:56 am

    The national Parks Service has the answer for this problem: “Don’t feed the bears, it makes them dependent”. That is EXACTLY what we are doing if this plan goes forward. All it’s doing is inviting more people to come here and cash in on the goodies….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *