La Crosse service providers to give Maple Grove Motel residents options where to live when they move out

The city will take ownership of the Maple Grove Motel along Mormon Coulee Road March 31

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — As we first reported Tuesday night, the La Crosse Common Council unanimously approved a proposal to purchase a south side motel to use a temporary homeless shelter.

The city will spend $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay for the Maple Grove Motel and other expenses.

The city will take ownership of the motel March 31.

City leaders say there is no set date when current motel residents need to move out.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds says the city is rushing to plan the process. He and other city leaders are pledging to find new shelter however they can for Maple Grove residents.

“Everybody is absolutely dedicated to ensuring that we are not hurting people that are already living in a place,” Reynolds said.

The city will help connect motel residents to service providers and nonprofit agencies, said Brian Sampson, the city’s homeless services coordinator.

“We are looking at how can we be as helpful as possible to remove if somebody doesn’t have a rental history or if there’s financial barriers,” Sampson said.

Those providers would then give residents options of where they can go.

Couleecap is potentially one of these agencies.

“There are other partner agencies that we can also help make connections with depending on where each person is at and what kind of support they need,” Sampson said.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good ability to connect people to the resources they need to find new places to stay,” Reynolds said. “I’m not too concerned about that.”

Sampson says everyone might not have trouble finding a new home.

“There isn’t just going to be one place that houses every single individual, because each have their own needs,” Sampson said.

Right now, many homeless are staying at the EconoLodge. But the city’s rental agreement with that hotel expires April 1.

When the contract expires, some of those staying at the EconoLodge could move into Maple Grove, Reynolds said.

“We didn’t buy it to leave it empty,” Reynolds said.

The city is exploring an extension with the service provider at the EconoLodge until the Maple Grove motel is ready to accept the homeless, the mayor said. If there is an extension, it would be short-term, he said.

If you are staying at the motel and need assistance, Couleecap’s number is (608)-782-4877.

More information can be found here.

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