Salvation Army: Homelessness problem in La Crosse area - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Salvation Army: Homelessness problem in La Crosse area

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LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Major Paul Moore, Salvation Army Corps Officer said in Wisconsin, homelessness peaks in September or October.

"It really has to do with the weather," Major Moore said. "Because people understand if they're on the streets in cold weather they can die and so they'll do anything necessary to stay inside. They'll make amends with family members so they can stay there an extra day."

On any given day, Major Moore said there are 100 family units that are homeless in the Coulee Region.  A family unit could be a single person or a large family.

Over the last two years, that number has increased because of the economy.

Major Moore said some people can't find full time jobs that pay enough money so they can afford their bills then they lose their home.

The Salvation Army Shelter is open to anyone that needs a place stay.

The Salvation Army won't turn anyone away, as long as they are respectful and not using drugs or alcohol.

People with addiction problems can go to the Warming Center, at First Baptist Church, run by Catholic Charities, as long as they are under control.

Even with places to go, there are still some people living in their cars or on the streets, Major Moore said.

"I think the question to the community has got to be is this the way this community wants to deal with people who don't have a place to live or are there better solutions?" Major Moore said.

He would like to see a community wide discussion on the issue.

"We're talking government, we're talking land lords, we're talking developers, we're talking churches, faith communities. They all need to come together to decide how can we address this," Major Moore said.

He said the community can help by taking an interest in the people around them.

If you know someone on the verge of losing their housing, get involved.  Every situation is different, but help them keep their home however that is done.

The Salvation Army still needs volunteers to ring bells to help them raise money for programs like the homeless shelter.

You can also click here to donate online.

They also need sponsors for their Angel Giving Tree, which provides Christmas gifts for children in need.

You can pick up at tag at Valley View Mall or call 782-6126.

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