La Crosse Common Council OKs spending up to $700,000 from rescue act for homeless housing during winter

Houska 2

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — The La Crosse Common Council has approved spending up to $700,000 in American Rescue Plan Act money to provide temporary winter shelter from this month through March.

The council’s OK Thursday night came a week after the city’s Finance and Personnel Committee advanced the resolution last week.

The approval followed an executive session during which council members discussed the resolution. The council reconvened after the closed session and voted 12-0 to approve the measure, with one member recusing herself from voting.

The resolution stipulates that the temporary winter housing expenditure is not to exceed the $700,000 available for that purpose under the pandemic-related rescue act.

Speaking in favor of the resolution during the F and P committee consideration of the measure last week was Kim Cable, housing and family services director at Couleecap Inc.

Unprecedented numbers of homeless people are living on the street, Cable said, adding, “It’s double what I’ve seen in 15 years” of working on housing issues.

Cable’s comment echoed the resolution’s statement that the city has “witnessed a substantially growing number of unsheltered individuals currently living in public and private outdoor locations.”

The resolution notes that the city has set ensuring shelter for all individuals as a top priority and that city staffers have determined that rental rooms are available through March.

The city has enlisted local service agencies and La Crosse County to help operate the initiative, according to the resolution.

Recent News Headlines from News 8 Now  
La Crosse, Onalaska reach ‘groundbreaking’ sewage agreement
Barre Mills child-care center announces abrupt closing because of staff shortage 
Inflation rises to 6.2% in October in biggest surge since 1990 
Cold weather helps fuel La Crosse County’s highest COVID-19 case rates of the year