The La Crosse County Board unanimously voted Thursday for a plan to use surplus money on emergency winter housing for the unsheltered.
The money, close to $170,000, is what’s left of a homelessness prevention fund established four years ago, that started at $500,000.
Supervisor Kim Cable said the La Crosse area continues to have a high number of homeless people, compared to most other Wisconsin counties.
“Over the summer count, we have a 140 people on the street. Green Bay had 145,” said Cable, who works with the homeless through Couleecap, Inc., in La Crosse. “So we are standing out in the state of Wisconsin as a community that has a huge issue. I’ve talked to people in Milwaukee County who say, ‘What the heck is going on up there?’”
The plan could provide hotel vouchers this winter to families with children, which would open up more space for single adults at community shelters.
Brian Sampson, the city of La Crosse homeless coordinator, told the county board that community shelters probably can’t offer all the spaces that might be needed.
The money comes from a county fund set up in 2018 to help pay rent and other costs to people who might lose their homes.