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$3 million in “bridge housing” approved by La Crosse County executive committee



Tents and tarps line Houska Park in La Crosse, on Oct. 31, 2022, a day before the campground designation is set to end. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

Local governments in La Crosse County have had trouble in the past year finding temporary housing for the homeless.

Attempts to the Chamber of Commerce building downtown, a motel on the south side or a former credit union on the north side “bridge housing” have repeatedly have run into opposition.


The La Crosse County Board’s Executive Committee, however, voted Wednesday to put $3 million of American Rescue Plan Act federal relief money into developing short-term housing for families with children.

Supervisor Roger Plesha was among members voting against the spending, saying he feels the county already owns lots of residential housing.

Plesha worries the plan to do something isn’t enough.

“Frankly, I understand the homeless problem, but I don’t know if we’re going to really put a dent in it with this method,” he said during the meeting. “I just don’t know if this is the way to go.’

Others on the board have expressed doubts about whether families will benefit from bridge housing, while supporters say the new plans are better than having families with kids say at shelters such as the Salvation Army, or at hotels, which was done last winter.

Board chair Monica Kruse says a task force has endorsed that funding.

“And that task force was made up of a fairly broad cross section of the community, including some of the nonprofits,” Kruse said, listing many groups.

A vote on the funds could be taken by the board on Dec. 15.

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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  1. William C Evans

    December 8, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Well the old therom hold true again, “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.

    Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, you donate to a charity or
    try to assist in housing for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the quality housing or the exact execution of the donation, but I’m very careful about the cost.

    Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure that I am going to have a great apartment or house (Heck it’s some one else money)!

    Finally the worst secnario, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about the value of the housing that I get.

    Why stop at 3 million…why not 5 million or heck even 10 million…just raise taxation on the working and home owners.

    And that’s our Lacrosse government.

  2. Kent Porter

    December 13, 2022 at 10:43 am

    December 13th 2022 , I just drove through Houska Park today , WHAT A SESPOOL of filth !!!!!!!!!! This Mayor Mitch Renoylds might of been a good radio host , But he sucks as Mayor , Time for some change , lets get the Homeless addicts some help and get them jobs , quit kickin the can down the road , Also leave the Harry J Olson property where it belongs , to the retired folks who have kept up this wonderful landmark so they have a place to go , The Homeless can get off the booze and drugs , or GO TO JAIL !!!! Write in Kent Porter (mayor of the Northside ) next time you vote , I will fix these problems and donate my pay as Mayor to Veterans and the Harry J Olson center for RETIRED FOLKS !!!!

  3. Kent Porter

    December 13, 2022 at 10:51 am

    These folks us words like BRIDGE HOUSING , 3 MILLION DOLLARS OF OUR TAX MONEY to Homeless drug and alcohol addicts ???? WOW , how about we buy some UNICORNS and PIXY DUST TO MAKE HOUSKA PARK LOOK LIKE A PARK AGAIN instead of a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY , These homeless people need to get off the drugs and booze , get jobs and take care of THEM SELF’S , ENOUGH ALREADY MR MAYOR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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