If you have government money on hand to help families that are homeless, what’s the best way to spend that money?
The La Crosse County Board has decided to spend some federal ARPA funding to buy housing that could be used short-term by homeless families with kids. The board has authorized $3 million for the project, promoted by Couleecap and Catholic Charities.
Board supervisors debated whether the money should be provided directly to families to help pay for housing now. They also wanted assurances that the funds could be used throughout the county, so that all the housing doesn’t end up just in the city of La Crosse.
Catholic Charities and Couleecap have proposed the idea of setting up bridge housing around the county for at least 10 years. A family qualifying for the housing could live in a unit for as long as two years, while looking for other housing.
In other business on Thursday, the county board appointed Elizabeth Lubinski as full-time medical examiner. Lubinski is a paramedic who studied at Western Tech. She has been interim medical examiner for a few months, as Tim Candahl prepares for eventual retirement from the department.