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Spare money for homeless program in La Crosse County could be used for winter housing

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Families facing homelessness in La Crosse County this winter may be able to get financial help from a special county fund.

A county’s Executive Committee voted Wednesday to use what’s left of a $500,000 fund set up in 2018 to help pay for hotel rooms for families.

Kim Cable of the county board said the money had been placed in reserve to pay for homelessness prevention, but state programs to help families have allowed the county to maintain $168,902 in that prevention fund.

The leftover funding is from a homelessness prevention program that was used to help pay for hotel vouchers and other expenses.

Cable said the idea is to find winter housing for families, to free up more space at community shelters.

Many unsheltered living in La Crosse have been staying at Houska Park, which was re-zoned last spring to a campground for that purpose. That, however, ends at the end of the month.

The full county board could vote on the funding next week.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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