Homeless Camp Outside City Hall to Protest Ordinance

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SACRAMENTO --

A group of homeless men and women camped outside Sacramento City Hall Tuesday night to protest the city's ordinance prohibiting camping in public.

The homeless say the ordinance unfairly targets and burdens them with citations they are unable to pay. Some say they have no choice but to sleep outside because the city does not have enough shelter beds to meet the needs of the homeless population.

At 11 p.m., Sacramento Police officers told the protesters they had to leave the courtyard outside City Hall and move to the sidewalk because the courtyard has an 11 p.m. curfew. Not wanting to be arrested over a curfew violation, the protesters complied with police and moved to the sidewalk along 9th Street.

The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night to enter into a $500,000 contract with the non-profit Sacramento Steps Forward, which will help about 350 homeless people transition into housing.

Some homeless advocates who spoke out at the meeting, applauded the plan but said it still leaves many homeless people out in the cold.