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As I See It

Feds need to lend a hand to reduce homelessness



Homelessness remains a problem in La Crosse, despite varying attempts to solve it. Of course, the problem of homelessness is not unique to La Crosse. Cities across America are dealing with more and more people living on the streets. It is estimated that more than half a million Americans are currently unsheltered in the U.S., about the population of Milwaukee. It is a national problem. Yet cities like La Crosse are left to their own devices to try to solve it. City Hall has tried a number of solutions, including providing free hotel rooms or setting up a homeless encampment in a local park. None have seemed to work all that well. Where is the federal government in all this? The U.S. government has just one agency dedicated to solving the homeless problem. The United States Council on Homelessness is dedicated to solving homelessness, but has only a tiny budget. And whatever they are doing doesn’t seem to be working. The federal government should expand its role and come up with best practices cities like La Crosse could follow to keep people off the streets. Some ideas must work better than others. Sharing that with cities across the country could have an impact. The problem is a national problem, and our federal government should be doing more to try to solve it.

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. Heidi Kerska

    May 10, 2023 at 6:22 am

    They have, and in excess in my opinion. Why don’t you look into how much of the city’s Covid money went to the unsheltered .
    That money should have helped lost revenue for tax paying, business and citizens but nope, a lot of it went for tents, narcan, dumpsters (which they didn’t use anyway) port a potty’s, etc. and what did that get them and the community? Another 100k in clean up expenses. Solution? 1st You should offer one instead of just complaining all the time. But my, and many others, feel a solution would be, to just leave them alone. Apparently (Also according to many) they want to live like that. They don’t want to be productive members of society, and that’s their choice. If they want help, we can and do offer it with several programs and options and signs around telling them so. But let them be themselves and quit trying to fix them.

  2. nick

    May 10, 2023 at 10:17 am

    The same old story – run to the feds. I agree that many of them want too bereft alone and do not want any help. There are the ones who do and they appear to get help.
    Homelessness in some cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco can be attributed to the complete mis-management of the state by the progressives and their non-sensical dictates.
    The state of California is running a $22,000,000 dollar deficit and what does their Governor want to do- run the country. What a crock.
    LaCroose spent $100,000 cleaning up Husk park and how much to the hotel owner when last winter-2022- the hotel got trashed by the homeless.

  3. Waldon

    May 11, 2023 at 12:14 am

    Maybe a place to start would be defense of our borders. 100,000 drug dead each year and many more lives ruined and reduced to homelessness with no end or plan in sight.

    Just pouring more federal monies on a problem doesn’t solve it. Neither do best practices to solve a problem we as a country are allowing, no, encouraging.

    Cameron Park is a disgrace. Our mayor is a disgrace. Our President is a disgrace.

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