Couleecap expands financial assistance to 4 counties

La Crosse, Vernon, Crowford and Monroe
Couleecap granted $53,000 for entrepreneurial support

WESTBY, Wis. (WKBT) – Couleecap has expanded its COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program to Crawford and Monroe Counties. The program launched at the end of March in La Crosse and Vernon Counties.

The program helps low-to-moderate wage workers whose employment has been ended or reduced due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Small business owners may also apply for assistance for their personal expenses. Funding is provided by the Crawford County Community Fund, the Great Rivers United Way, and an Anonymous Donor, and can be used for critical expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, car payments, medical or prescription bills, utility bills, and more.

“Many people in the Coulee Region lived paycheck to paycheck even before this emergency, leaving them unable to build savings that they can rely on as they become unemployed,” says Ashley Lacenski, Community Development Director for Couleecap. “It takes time for state and federal resources to make it into people’s hands and this is why it’s important for people to have access to help now so they don’t fall behind on bills.”

A simple, online application process will determine recent unemployment, income eligibility, and critical needs of the household so appropriate assistance can be determined.  All participants will be provided referrals to the Wisconsin Unemployment Office, other government programs for which participants can apply, and local resources, such as food pantries.  Program participants will also receive information on emergency and unemployment budgeting, including tips for reducing or eliminating expenses during a crisis.

“We cannot thank the Crawford County Community Fund and Great Rivers United Way enough,” says Hetti Brown, Executive Director of Couleecap.  “Their support enables us to respond quickly and flexibly to meet the needs of our neighbors.”

Residents seeking assistance can complete an application at  General household information, recent pay statements, and documentation of reduced or terminated employment will be required.  For phone assistance, residents may contact Sara Berger at 608-632-6512 but given the volume of calls Couleecap is receiving, online assistance will be faster.

Funding is limited and, therefore, the highest needs will be determined through the application process.

Couleecap is seeking donations to maintain this program.  People can donate to this effort at or by mailing a donation to Couleecap, 201 Melby Street, Westby, WI 54667.

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