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Gundersen offers support for homeless


Recognizing housing as a key component of health and well-being, Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare each donated $75,000 to the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness.

The donations will be evenly dispersed over a three-year period, and comes at a time when the La Crosse area is investing significant resources to eliminate homelessness. Gundersen CEO Scott Rathgaber, MD, and Tim Johnson, MD, regional vice president, Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare, presented donations to the Collaborative Sept. 6. The Robert and Eleanor Franke Charitable Foundation and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration made donations to the Collaborative as well.

"Since its founding in 2016, the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness has helped bring shelter and resources to the at-risk and homeless populations," says Julie McDermid, Project Manager, La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness. "The donations will be put towards at-risk individuals and families to keep them out of harm’s way."

As of now, there are still more than 200 individuals that have been identified as homeless in the city of La Crosse alone, and according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, over half a million people may be homeless on any given night in the United States. By putting forth an effort to prevent homelessness, Gundersen and others will be aiding the Collaborative in crucial preventative measures. By providing the necessary resources, such as housing and transportation, this initiative will shrink the homeless population over time and bring shelter to those in need.

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