The mayor and various organizations spent a lot of time patting themselves on the back this past year for supposedly making progress against homelessness, but their efforts have been a drop in the bucket.

They claimed to end veteran homelessness by housing 15 veterans; statistically, there are probably 30-40 homeless veterans who were not housed.

Beyond that, a quick walk by any downtown park in the morning is enough evidence of the "progress" toward ending homelessness.

The problem is that homeless people have no real advocate. The government and organizations want to claim they're making progress, but there's no force that can really keep them honest. It's long past time to stop playing around and get serious about ending homelessness. Defining the "worthy" homeless as being without housing for a year, or even six months, is a joke.

The only way to solve this is by being willing to spend the money.

Earlier this summer, CouleeCap had a waiting list of people who were qualified for vouchers, but there wasn't enough funding. If landlords don't want homeless people, the city should build its own apartments. If we can spend $1 million on the band shell, we can spend $4 million for 40 bedrooms, plus caseworkers.

Kevin Hundt, La Crosse