Local business owner helping employ La Crosse's homeless

Local business owner helping employ...

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Fayze's in Downtown La Crosse is known for its delicious bread and a good meal at any hour of the day.

But there are a couple of things you'll find here that aren't necessarily listed on the menu.

Love and acceptance, key ingredients for longtime owner Drew Williams.

"We believe there's good in all people, and believe in community and helping those in need."

Some of La Crosse's homeless population can no longer call 'tent city' their home as the area is officially closed down.

This could mean a list of challenges for those who haven't yet found housing or jobs.

But Williams is offering employment for those who used to live at tent city and are struggling to find jobs.

"People deserve a second chance and people make mistakes in life and that shouldn't reflect on their opportunities for the rest of their life," Williams said.

When Williams learned La Crosse's homeless population at tent city was ordered to leave, he knew many of them needed to first find jobs, in order to find housing.

That's when he called a La Crosse neighborhood resource officer and said he wanted to help.

"And I reached out and said at that time I had a couple of positions that maybe suitable for someone in that situation and if he had a good candidate or two he should send them way."

Perhaps it takes more than numbers to make a business successful.

Williams says as a business owner, it's part of his responsibility to make La Crosse a better place for everyone, whether they have a home or not.

"Sometimes that's the right person for the position and it helps get them on their feet which is a win win for everybody."

Fayze's customer Eric Mathison says he appreciates the restaurant even more now, and thinks other restaurants should do the same to help.

"Regardless of where they come from, you never know what qualities or traits you're going to get from an employee, you know a lot of people always judge everything by what they see first impression but you can get some valuable assets by just looking a little deeper."

Williams is proving it takes a village and sometimes a leader, to make a difference.

And never forgetting to add compassion to the recipe.

"Lead by example always in whatever you do and we're all in this together just make La Crosse a beautiful, great place to live."


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