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As I See It

Efforts to end homelessness prove elusive



La Crosse is taking another kick at the cat as it reverses its efforts to reduce homelessness. The city has posted signs at Houska Park telling those who are camping there that it is time to go. For the past two summers, as many as 100 homeless people have been living in the park along the river. Over the summer, the city provided those living there with free electricity and running water to provide a space for the homeless to live. The power and water was shut off in October, but dozens remained living in the park. The mayor cites health and safety concerns as it attempts to finally clear out the park. But didn’t those same issues exist when La Crosse was encouraging the homeless to camp in Houska? In recent years, La Crosse has put the homeless up in a hotel for free, and attempted, without success, to buy properties where the homeless could live. All the while, the problem has gotten worse as the local homeless population continues to grow. It is not clear where they will go now, but it could well be another city park. Mayor Reynolds called solving the homelessness problem his number one priority as he took office, but achieving that goal is proving to be rather elusive.

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. Rhead

    February 17, 2023 at 8:57 am

    We don’t need to kick the cat we need to kick the homeless i the ass and send them down the road. Mitch let them distroy our parks. The tax payer’s of La Crosse want there park back! But the dumb ass liberals don’t see it that way!

    • Yvonne Johnston

      February 17, 2023 at 10:44 am

      You are spot on, I agree wholeheartedly and we need a mayor with some experience, who desires to lead and a mayor who works to solve problems, this guy doesn’t have a clue.

    • Hilary Kendhammer

      February 18, 2023 at 2:30 pm

      Do you honestly think those people choose to live like they live? These are people with mental health problems and who knows what kind of trauma. They are people just like the rest of us. Don’t make judgements on other people’s circumstances. Be grateful for the things you do have. I’ve met some of the kindest people who struggle with homelessness.

  2. Yvonne

    February 17, 2023 at 10:41 am

    Our do-nothing Mayor doesn’t know what to do about the homeless, (mostly drug addicts) because he’s inept and clueless. He is not Mayor material, he thinks he can sit around drinking coffee, cut ribbons and no one cares. Yes, we care and we want a Mayor who knows ‘how’ to run a city like La Crosse. He doesn’t and it’s too bad because we deserve someone who is experienced and cares about every single citizen’s welfare. Build something outside La Crosse for the homeless to live and work there planting their own garden and learning a trade. The city of La Crosse was willing to buy a run down Motel for $1.4 million & put more $ into it, so with that said, use that money to build a place to house only up to 100 homeless with restrictions. City wastes money like it grows on trees ????.

  3. Come On Man

    February 17, 2023 at 6:54 pm

    Reminds me of the story of the three blind mice.
    In this edition the mice shall be played by:
    1) The Mayor
    2) Head of the Parks Department
    3) City of LaCrosse Homeless Coordinator

  4. Ryan

    February 19, 2023 at 7:31 am

    Vote blue no matter who ????????????????

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