Mayo Clinic Health System to offer City of La Crosse emergency winter sheltering funds

Mayo Clinic Health System
Mayo Clinic Health System(WEAU)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 12:45 PM CST
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Mayo Clinic Health System is announcing they are making funding up to $25,000 available to the City of La Crosse.

The funds are intended for expenses related to the city’s emergency winter sheltering plan for the homeless, including security staff, sleeping mats, food and utilities, according to a media release from Mayo Clinic Health System.

The media release from Mayo Clinic Health System says last month, an emergency declaration was made by the City of La Crosse to open city-owned buildings as emergency overnight shelters for the homeless. According to La Crosse Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director, Jay Odegaard, in the four days that the South Side Neighborhood Center was used as an overflow shelter, they averaged 25-26 visitors per night, with a full capacity of 30 people on Christmas night.

“Being without a home is a danger to one’s health, especially during the winter,” Paul Mueller, M.D., Regional Vice President, Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Wisconsin, said. “We are seeing patients in our emergency departments with injuries and illness from extended exposure to the cold that comes from being homeless. It is our hope that by supporting these emergency shelters, we can prevent these challenges for our unsheltered community members.”

“We are pleased to be able to financially support the city’s emergency efforts to keep everyone in our community safe and warm,” Mueller said. “And we encourage other organizations and businesses to do the same.”

Donations to the City of La Crosse Overflow Shelter Fund can be made through the La Crosse Community Foundation.