La Crosse’s homeless struggle to be safe amid excessive heat, flooding

According to Couleecap, more than 250 people in La Crosse are homeless.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– Arla Micke has been homeless for about two years. She said she was struggling to adjust to the heat on Tuesday amid high temperatures.

“I’m dying,” she said. “This heat is just unreal,” she added.

Micke also said her tent wasn’t hit too hard during Monday’s rainstorm, but that she saw many other tents get flooded.

“They were shoveling out their tents,” she said. “It was just horrible with that rain.”

Micke added that she felt “terrible” in the extreme heat while suffering from Asthma and COPD, in addition to knee and back issues.

According to Couleecap, the city of La Crosse is home to more than 250 unsheltered people.

Amy Jo Kane is a case manager with Karuna Housing Group. She said the homeless population inside Houska Park doesn’t have enough water.

“You know they’re without running water most of the time, without ice, most of them don’t have coolers,” she said.

In the city of La Crosse, the REACH Services and Resource Center on 11th Street South helps the homeless find housing and other sources of support.

The La Crosse Public Library also allows people to cool off for short periods of time during hot weather.

But, despite the efforts of local organizations, hundreds are in need of safe shelter, food and water.

“Me and my husband would love to get into housing,” Micke said. “I don’t like it out here. There’s too many fighting and too much drama,” she added.

The Salvation Army of La Crosse County was not willing to comment on this story.

The local Catholic Charities organization said their Warming Center is not open as a place to cool down during the summer months.

“You know a lot more people have to have more compassion for these people down here,” said Kane. “They’re humans, you know,” she added.

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