If La Crosse is going to solve its homelessness problem, it won’t happen anytime soon. The city has spent years trying a variety of plans for housing the unsheltered, from putting them up in a motel for the winter to letting them camp in a city park during the warm weather months. But it certainly didn’t solve the problem. There are still an estimated 114 people living on the streets of La Crosse. Now the city is beginning a partnership with La Crosse County to work together to solve the homelessness problem. But crafting that plan will take time. They have given themselves five years to put together a plan seeking to eliminate the problem. That is a long time before we can expect to see fewer people living on the streets. Clearly this is a complicated issue, and many local groups are working to solve it. It is good to get the county involved, because homelessness is not a problem unique to the city of La Crosse. But couldn’t they move more quickly? They are taking some small steps, like making plans to open a location, perhaps the Southside Community Center, to provide shelter when the temperature drops below zero. But that is a temporary fix. A wider strategy is needed, but it shouldn’t take five years to come up with a plan.