Annual event connects homeless with services

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An annual event Thursday in La Crosse gave the homeless a chance to connect with services to help them get back on their feet.

"Project Homeless Connect" at the La Crosse Center brought in experts to help with things like housing, employment, and health care.

People could also get free haircuts, vision screenings, foot care, and a meal.

The La Crosse Homeless Coalition organizes it each year.

"I think sometimes people have a difficult time getting services in the community because they don't know how to get to places that they need to get to, and sometimes it's overwhelming, like what do I do first?" said Kim Cable, Chair of the La Crosse Homeless Coalition. "if you're living on the street, figuring out where you're going to get your next meal is a challenge so we just try to minimize that today."

"All ages, backgrounds, we see a little bit of everything," said Becky Koske, another member of the coalition. "Families, single individuals coming in, all different ages, everybody's coming in. They face a hard time is usually what happens. Something has happened, they had a rough patch and kind of got off track and are struggling to get back on."

The event also helps organizers learn just how many unsheltered people there are in the area.

Very early on Thursday morning, members of the La Crosse Homeless Coalition went out in the area looking for unsheltered people and inviting them to the event.

That will also serve as the beginning of their regular point-in-time count to figure out how many homeless individuals there are in the La Crosse area.

The results of the point-in-time count will be released in the next few weeks, but for now, the coalition hopes that many of those people got what they needed on Thursday.

"I hope they come away with some hope knowing that there are resources here in town, there's people that are willing to help," said Koske.

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