La Crosse health systems contribute funds for emergency winter shelter

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Both of La Crosse’s major health systems are helping cover the cost of past and future emergency shelters.

Gundersen Health System helped cover the cost of the overflow shelter at the Southside Neighborhood Center during the extreme cold in December.

La Crosse’s Mayor Mitch Reynolds declared an emergency to open the shelter and keep it open during the daytime.

City officials said the cost of security and cleaning services was roughly $32,000.

Gundersen will continue to help pay for future shelter needs.

Mayo Clinic Health System is also making $25,000 available to the city.

The money will go towards security, sleeping mats, food, and utilities.

Officials from both systems say being unsheltered is dangerous to people’s health.

Mayo officials say they’re seeing patients come into the emergency department with injuries and illnesses from being out in the cold for long periods of time.