Meet Chris Burks



We would like to introduce you to Chris Burks, YMCA Community Health Worker. Chris serves as the point of contact for families and individuals who are referred to him from the Great Rivers Hub. He identifies each individual’s risks, identifies achievable outcomes to reduce those risks, and navigates clients through community systems to obtain the services they need. Chris is 1 of 8 Community Health Workers in our community.
In his first year, Chris has worked with 45 individuals in a variety of ways. From helping families and individuals find housing to connecting community members to resources that will support their mental health to delivering meals to households, he is impacting lives every day.
Last week, Chris was asked to assist a woman who was at the hospital and in need of assistance. He connected her with a local shelter because she was at risk of homelessness and then worked with her to apply for housing resources in our community. This week, with the Y truck full of furnishings, he helped her move into an apartment. They will continue to work through the barriers she is facing until she is ready to move forward independently.

"I don't know how I would have been able to do this without you (Chris) or the Y."

Anonymous Client

Virtual Learning Support



As summer came to an end and families grew more anxious about starting the school year off virtually, the Y School Age Care team grew more determined to step up and face this community challenge head on. Their passion to meet the needs of youth and families, especially those with no alternative for child care or virtual learning support, helped ignite a collaborative effort with the school districts of La Crosse, Holmen, and Onalaska.
Together, a program was developed to provide nearly 700 youth with FREE temporary “School Day” care while schools operate virtually.
Y School Age Care Staff are working alongside district staff to provide youth with the support they need to successfully participate in virtual learning and to provide them with a safe and fun environment to be part of while their parent(s) are working. Youth are learning, playing games, being physically active, making new friends, and most of all, having fun!

"I just wanted to say how relieved and pleased I was with the first day of School Day care for my 3rd grader. He was a little hesitant to begin at another school and nervous about it being online again. When I picked him up at the site it sounded like he had a great first day! His teacher had helped him log on several times and connect with his teacher/class. He said he met 5 new friends already! Thank you for providing this good care during these difficult times."

Tina C.