Couleecap Partnerships and Collaborations

Poverty problems cannot be fought alone by individuals or agencies. The problems are too large and entrenched; the resources are too limited. To help our local families and communities develop to their full capacity, we must come together, find common ground, join hands, and take action.

A collaborative approach that pools the talents and capabilities of people and organizations is the best way to address community problems. The belief in collaboration runs deep at Couleecap. We constantly reach out to others, seek ways to work together, form partnerships and joint ventures, and develop new relationships that will enhance our efforts and ultimately benefit the people and communities we serve.

Community Food Systems: CFS is a community based group developed to address food insecurity issues in La Crosse County. The group works towards sustainable measures for improving the quality and quantity of food available to low income families.

Coulee Community Land Trust: Originally an outgrowth of an effort by the La Crosse County Housing Commission, the Coulee CLT has aggressively grown through partnerships with local lenders, governments, and non-profit housing developers. Through partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, La Crosse CHDO, La Crosse County, the City of La Crosse, the City of Onalaska, the City of Hillsboro, and the State of Wisconsin the Coulee CLT will exceed 20 permanently affordable homes by the end of 2012.

Hudson Group:The Hudson group is made up of a group of energy professionals from the Weatherization Assistance Program in Wisconsin. The group meets bi-monthly to go over new policies that are going to be implemented into the program and also reviews current policies. The Hudson group works in conjunction with WOW to address all issues that may be addressed by the grantees.


Quad County Lenders Consortium: The QCLC has worked together for more than 10 years to help provide affordable housing to Coulee Region residents. The consortium, made up of 12 local banks/credit unions and Couleecap, secured grants dollars for affordable homeownership and rehab. Couleecap founded the group with the help of StateBank Financial (then State Bank of La Crosse). In 2011 the consortium brought more than $700,000 of grant funds to the area.

Scenic Rivers Area Health Education Center: SRAHEC helps to improve the health of residents in our region by connecting students to health care careers and linking health care professionals to communities. Through a partnership with SRAHEC, Couleecap helps to educate future health care professionals on poverty issues and health care needs of low-income people in our area.

Southwest Regional Housing Coalition: The Southwest Regional Housing Coalition is a “super-coalition” made up of members from county-level coalitions throughout western and southwestern Wisconsin. Couleecap staff have chaired and led this project since its inception.


Wisconsin Energy Conservation Cooperation (WECC): WECC is a national leader in the design and implementation of energy savings programs for utilities, municipalities and regulators across the U.S, and currently Couleecap’s Training and Technical Assistance Provider. Couleecap works closely with WECC ensure up to date training and assistance in all areas of energy conservation.


La Crosse Area Family Policy Board: Couleecap has been a long term participant in and leader of the La Crosse Area Family Policy Board, a collaboration of over 40 agencies and individuals dedicated to improving the lives of families and children in La Crosse County.

La Crosse County Housing Commission: The Housing Commission is an informal coalition of groups and individuals who are concerned about the access to affordable housing for all individuals and families. Couleecap is a founding member and has assisted the group in bringing new housing resources into the area.


La Crosse Homeless Coalition: The La Crosse Homeless Coalition is a group of concerned advocates who come together in their work to end homelessness. Members include community members, agency staff, formerly homeless individuals, and local leaders. The La Crosse Homeless Coalition educates the community, advocates for the homeless, raise awareness, and works to create a streamlined service delivery system..

Monroe County Housing Coalition: The Monroe County Housing Coalition is an informal coalition made up of community members and agency staff who come together to address housing issues for low income households in Monroe County. The group has sponsored landlord workshops, Rent Smart trainings, and supported homelessness awareness efforts. Couleecap staff have chaired the group since its inception.

Monroe County Safe Community Coalition: The MCSCC is a group of concerned citizens, business persons, law enforcement staff, and agency staff who come together to address community issues of safety and prevention. Couleecap works with this coalition to administer a Drug Free Communities Grant to increase community collaboration and reduce youth substance use in Monroe County.

Transition from Jail to Community Team: The TJC Team in La Crosse County works to address the needs of individuals who are transitioning from jail back into the community. Agency staff, citizens, and local leaders work to identify the most effective strategies for supporting people who are coming back into the community in the areas of housing, employment, AODA treatment, and other supportive services.

Vernon County Housing Coalition:The Vernon County Housing Coalition is an informal coalition made up of community members and agency staff who come together to address housing issues for low income households in Vernon County. Couleecap is one of the founding members of the group and has assisted the group in bringing resources to the county.

Weatherization Operators of Wisconsin (WOW):WOW consists of 25 Weatherization Operators in the state of Wisconsin, who meet regularly to collaborate and network with other agencies and the Division of Energy Services on current Weatherization issues and help to create best practices throughout the state of Wisconsin.

WHEDA/Community Land Trust Certification: Obtaining a mortgage to purchase a land trust home had been a complicated and difficult process. Local lenders had to take extra risk to issue a mortgage and assume extra cost in performing “due diligence” on the land trust. In 2010, Couleecap and WHEDA partnered to pilot a Community Land Trust certification process, with the Coulee CLT being the first certified land trust in Wisconsin. This certification saved time and money for local lenders and expanded the number of land trust mortgage lenders from one to eight.

WIBOSCOC: The Wisconsin Balance of State Continuum of Care is a statewide member run organization whose sole purpose is to implement programs and services to end homelessness in Wisconsin.

WISCAP: Couleecap is a member of the state association of Community Action Agencies, WISCAP. As a long standing member, Couleecap works with the sixteen Wisconsin CAP agencies to address poverty problems and state and federal policy issues.


Next Step: Next Step's mission is putting sustainable homeownership within reach of everyone, while transforming the manufactured housing industry one home at a time.