Concerns of homelessness rise in Stevens Point as they work towards solutions

Mayor Wiza says helping organizations who offer resources for homeless people is a good step
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 8:37 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - While Stevens Point is certainly not the only place dealing with homelessness, the issue has recently been a hot topic within the city, drawing support and criticism.

“There’s not a magic wand that will suddenly make all homelessness go away,” said Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza. “As long as they’re not doing anything illegal, there’s no real problem.”

“It’s not scary, these people hug me all the time on my staff,” said Tiffani Krueger, co-chair for Evergreen Community Initiatives. “We are a family.”

Many in Stevens Point have offered solutions of their own. While the city appreciates their support, it’s important to keep in mind the chances of pulling it off. Mayor Wiza said he has seen solutions such as setting the people up with paying just 50% of their rent. His argument was that the other half needs to come from somewhere and there are liability issues that come with that.

The city is even trying to overcome its own challenges. “We’ve been working with landlords trying to figure out how to gain more affordable housing,” said Mayor Wiza. “Entry-level housing seems to be one of the biggest challenges that most communities face.”

“We would love to have a year-round facility, we don’t have the funding for that,” Krueger added. “Our community would have to step up to make that happen.”

There may be no clear-cut solution for now, but that doesn’t mean people can’t lend a helping hand.

“There’s tons of organizations already that are addressing those facets that I talked about,” said Mayor Wiza. “Evergreen Community Initiatives, One Big Tent, The Salvation Army. There are religious groups that are helping out like the Franciscans.”

If you know anyone who’s homeless and want to direct them toward helpful resources, contact United Way’s 2-1-1 line as a first step.

To learn more about any of the initiatives and services visit: