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One month into 5-year plan, La Crosse leaders are busy with efforts to eliminate homelessness

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Community leaders in La Crosse want to end homelessness but they know it won’t happen overnight.

A long-term plan called Pathways Home in the La Crosse area seeks to find housing for unsheltered people.

The effort was launched at the start of the year. La Crosse County human services director Jason Witt said reaching the goal will require work from government and the public.

“We’re just a little over one month into what is a five-year plan,” said Witt, “which means there’s a lot of work to do.”

Witt added that a lack of housing capacity is a major reason why more than 200 people in the county are considered homeless, with half of those defined as unsheltered.

He said a team of local agencies working on remedies for homelessness should be in place by April 1, and the aim of shutting down encampments that have occurred at sites such as Houska Park is considered a realistic goal.

Witt noted those camps “have been tolerated for far too long,” and he hopes to have more of that information on connecting homeless people to housing options readily available by this summer.

Jason Witt speaks about local homelessness at a La Crosse County law enforcement meeting this week

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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