Thumbs up to the continued, collaborative efforts to find homes for people staying in La Crosse without a roof over their heads. The La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness, city staffers, police and others worked last Christmas to find homes for 16 veterans who were homeless.
Kim Cable, the housing and community services director at Couleecap who leads the collaborative, says: “We want to ensure that every person who is homeless and living in tents has shelter available and future housing opportunities in La Crosse. That’s why we are opening up beds and sending out outreach workers to start working with people now. Our message is that we want anyone who is staying outside to have access to housing.”
The collaborative passion — dating to the successful efforts to create a warming shelter and a daytime hospitality center — says volumes about the people of our community.
Thumbs up to the ambitious plans to develop a new home and a new name for the Coulee Council on Addictions. The council is on its way to raising $2.9 million for a new building that will house The Coulee Recovery Center — a new name designed to remove the stigma attached to substance abuse.
The council’s old building along West Avenue in La Crosse — which hosts up to 50 community groups for meeting space — recently had to close for a few days because of plumbing problems, inconveniencing both clients and groups alike. The agency focuses on intervention, recovery support, education and prevention, and collaboration and advocacy.
Last year, the council helped almost 700 people in crisis situations while responding to 491 crisis calls. It provided 186 assessments for alcohol and other drug abuse and facilitated more than a dozen teen intervention sessions.
Thumbs up to the Family & Children’s Center’s Host Home program for providing help to youngsters who need a home.
Thanks to a grant from the La Crosse Community Foundation, a social worker connects homeless youngsters with families who are willing to be hosts. Estimates suggest there are nearly 200 homeless youngsters in La Crosse.
Jamie Korn, development director for Family & Children’s Center, says: “We know there are kids out there that need help. We just need to reach them.”
The program already has made positive connections with strong role models, who are subject to extensive background search and home visits to assure the safety of the youngsters placed.
Thumbs up to the La Crosse County Historical Society for facilitating the preservation and donation of a historic flag that predates the Civil War.
Thanks to the society and to American Legion Post 52 in La Crosse, the fragile flag of the La Crosse Light Guard will end up being housed at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison. The Ladies of La Crosse presented the flag to the private militia that eventually became Company B of the 2nd Wisconsin Regiment of Infantry Volunteers when President Lincoln called for volunteers.
Thumbs up to a move to provide more competition and more relief for homeowners who get stuck paying high prices for flood insurance.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, has signed onto the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, which would allow private insurance companies to enter the market, currently limited to the National Flood Insurance Program. Kind said that could lead to a 15 to 20 percent reduction in premiums — a big deal for the people who own the 1,200 homes and 600 additional structures in La Crosse that now sit in the 100-year floodplain.