The La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness announced Monday it met the ambitious goal set in September, effectively ending homelessness among veterans in the city of La Crosse.
The goal, set in September, aimed to end homelessness for veterans in the city within 100 days, using Christmas as a deadline.
“I am so proud of the La Crosse Collaborative’s incredible efforts to end veteran homelessness here in our community”, said Mayor Tim Kabat, a Leadership Team member. “La Crosse signed on to the national effort, as part of the Mayor’s Challenge, to work together and provide permanent housing for our homeless veterans and it is awe-inspiring to see this dream realized. We are so fortunate to live in such a caring, compassionate, and hard-working community.”
As of Monday, 15 veterans have been placed in permanent housing, surpassing the collaboration's goal of housing 12 homeless veterans before Christmas.
"Our collaborative did three landlord training sessions in the community and as a result we've had a pretty big outpouring of support from landlords who have signed up to be on the list," Collaborative Chairwoman Kim Cable said. "They understand they will be providing units and knowing we have services behind these vets once they are placed, such as a case manager."
Cable said she is continually amazed at what some people, who were once homeless, can achieve after getting a roof of their head.
"Once the worry of where you'll be sleeping at night and how you're going to eat are gone, it's so much easier to focus on things like education or school," she said.
This spring, Cable said the collaborative will explore other subsets of the homeless population in La Crosse and will work toward creating a goal to have those people placed in permanent housing as well.
Wisconsin 3rd District Congressman Ron Kind also praised the efforts to end veteran homelessness. In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Rep. Kind said, “I am incredibly proud that La Crosse has become the first city in Wisconsin to end homelessness among our veterans. I want to congratulate the over thirty La Crosse agencies, who worked collaboratively, to make sure that every local veteran has a roof over their head by Christmas day. In the coming months I look forward to working with the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness to find ways to build on this progress.”