Meth problem in western WI leaving children without a home

Drug addiction can take a toll on its victims and their families, including their children. In some cases, children are taken away from their parents and, in western Wisconsin, finding them a new home is getting more difficult.

In Dunn County, Wis., methamphetamine appears to be the drug that is crushing all facets of government, particularly social services.

"I think that it is devastating,” said Kris Korpela, Dunn County Human Services director. “It's across systems devastation."

Korpela has been the top administrator there for four years and believes meth has now reached full blown crisis across western Wisconsin.

"It just takes its toll on everybody,” she said.

On Friday, she and her office in Menomonie appeared to hit rock bottom dealing with the fallout from the hideous drug.

A trio of young siblings, including a newborn, all tested positive for meth. They needed emergency home placements as their parents were unable to provide care because of addiction issues.

But neither Dunn County nor neighboring areas had any immediately available options. So Korpela took to Facebook, writing that her agency's resources are tapped and that the ship is sinking. 

"Sorry, it's hard not to get emotional about it,” said Elissa Fromm, a foster mom.

Fromm is among those who have stepped up to help, explaining she and her husband wanted to impact their local.

On Monday, she headed to court as part of an effort to formalize the adoption of a group of siblings taken from a different meth ravaged home.

"The need is there – drugs and meth are out of control, like Kris says, it is a sinking ship,” said Fromm. “There are so many kids who need love and stability. You don't have to be rich. Just love them."

Korpela’s Facebook post generated more than 2,500 shares in about 24 hours before she pulled it down because of the massive response.

It actually led to dozens of people coming forward with offers to help Dunn County.

Thanks to the large response, those three children did get an emergency home placement. The county is working on a potential long-term foster solution.