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As I See It

Let’s find out who we’re trying to help before deciding how to help



We can all agree La Crosse has a homeless problem. What we can’t seem to agree on is what is causing it, and what should be done about it. The city of La Crosse has been trying various solutions over the years, but still the problem grows. A recent count of the homeless in La Crosse shows there are 140 unsheltered people living in La Crosse, many of them at Houska Park, which the city designated a campground. That number, according to Coulee Cap, is the highest they have seen. The city has provided tents and electricity and meals and other amenities to those at Houska Park. This after putting them up in a hotel, trying to buy the Chamber of Commerce Building and a southside motel to house those living on the streets. We have hired a homelessness coordinator and tried just about everything else. Mayor Mitch Reynolds called addressing the problem his number one priority upon winning the election. Well, we certainly haven’t solved the problem. Some suggest it is because La Crosse is too generous, and the word is out, drawing in homeless from other cities. City Hall says the majority of those at Houska are local. It shouldn’t be that hard to find out. That would be a good job for our new homeless coordinator so we can determine if we are helping residents of our city, or whether our efforts to help are actually making the problem worse.

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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  1. Nick

    August 26, 2022 at 7:51 am

    A census should be taken by going there and asking a series of questions of the individuals living there.
    The generosity of the city may be adding to the problem.
    We will never know until data is gathered.
    This should have been already done and if it has why don’t we know about the results?

  2. Paul

    August 28, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Wow! I agree with SRS on this!

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