La Crosse County homelessness prevention to get financial boost

Efforts to prevent homelessness in La Crosse County are getting a financial boost.

The La Crosse County Executive Committee Wednesday morning approved up to $175,000 for prevention efforts this year.

That money is coming from half a million dollars the county set aside in the 2019 budget for homelessness prevention. $25,000 of that amount was released earlier this year, which has gone towards rent, security deposits and other needs of 43 local households.

While it may seem like a lot of money, County leaders say each homeless person costs the County an estimated $68,000 through community-provided services.

“That is why we’re interested in investing County dollars into preventing homelessness from happening, because it’s much less expensive to prevent homelessness from happening that paying for services and programs once someone has become homeless,” said La Crosse County Board Chair Tara Johnson.

With the Committee’s approval the resolution now heads to the full County Board next Thursday for a final vote.

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