Sacramento Looks for Ideas to Help Fight Homelessness as City Hall Protest Enters 35th Night

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SACRAMENTO --

Carol Mack has lived on the streets of Sacramento, on and off, since she was 13.

She finds shelter in a tent on Ahern and North C streets, near Loaves & Fishes.  It's where many of Sacramento's homeless gather during the day and sleep at night.

"It's stressful, we hear people crying, crying out for help from God," Mack said.

Mack says the city's no-camping ordinance is adding to the stress.

"We get camping tickets, I've already got two of them," Mack said.

For over a month, homeless advocates have led a bold and persistent push to end that ban, by camping in front of City Hall.

Their fight continues despite almost a dozen arrests.

"We're fighting for the same cause," said Paula Lomazzi.

Lomazzi is a different kind of homeless advocate. She's a board member at Loaves & Fishes and Safe Ground.

Lomazzi and other advocates are hoping to travel to Seattle with city leaders next month in search of ideas.

"Seattle is certainly on the radar, and we're gonna probably take a trip up there within the next month or so," said City Council Member Jay Schenirer.

Schenirer is leading a new effort to fight homelessness in Sacramento.

"The main question is: What's the appropriate city role in working with the homeless population?" Schenirer said.

Activist James Clark is demanding protesters be involved in the search for solutions.

Tuesday he'll start a hunger strike for that cause.

"The hunger strike is going to end only until they put three people from the community just as they have three people from city council to basically be able to debate and understand what's going on in our end," said protester Mohammed Abugannan.

The city is also revisiting the idea of a "Safe Ground" community, a concept that would provide transitional housing for homeless.  Schenirer says that would cost $3 million $5 million dollars.