Student Gracie Quinn, right, and UW-La Crosse assistant professor Charlotte Roberts, left, are helping homeless people in the La Crosse area by telling their stories. (Submitted photo)

Anita Draper
Catholic Herald staff

Gracie Quinn, a senior at UW-La Crosse and a graduate of Nativity of Our Lord School, Rhinelander, was recognized Feb. 8 in an article in the La Crosse Tribune for her work to raise awareness about homelessness.

An education major, she asked assistant professor Charlotte Roberts, whose research focuses on empathy, to join her in starting a blog to tell the stories of homeless people in the area. The blog,, includes their stories, links to community resources and recent news stories about homelessness and related issues.

“Since a young age, I have been taught to love and to treat everyone as though they were Jesus,” Quinn commented. “I carry that through my days, even people going through the darkest times are still made in the image of Jesus. Why would I treat them as anything less? Homelessness is often something we don’t want to see because maybe we don’t understand it or it scares us.

“Learning someone’s story disproves all of that,” she added. “People endure trauma every day, and just having one person that believes in them can change their future. It’s not one person against the world; it’s humans helping humans.”

In the blog posts are stories of adults who grew up in broken and abusive homes, struggled with alcoholism, drug abuse and mental illness and, due to circumstances sometimes beyond their control, ended up on the street. They offer wisdom and advice and often remain hopeful about their futures.

Quinn and Roberts are currently collecting gloves, hats, socks, emergency blankets, hot cocoa mix and more for their winter supplies drive. To reach them, email .