Local Business Leaders Meet with Lawmakers in Washington on Homelessness

WASHINGTON -- As the Sacramento region continues to grow, its homeless population still struggles to find adequate housing.

This week, local leaders pounded the pavement in Washington, D.C., looking for more funding and better solutions.

"It's a human issue, as well as an economic issue," Rep. Doris Matsui, D-California, told FOX40.

Tuesday, Matsui met with a "Cap to Cap" team dedicated to curbing homelessness in the Sacramento region.

They come from seven cities in four counties; a sign, team co-chair Ryan Loofbourrow says, homelessness isn't an isolated problem.

"All of us working on the same project together forces us to be in the same room and listen to what our priorities are," Loofburrow said.

He says those priorities are more temporary beds and permanent roofs, but it costs money.

In the federal budget, Sacramento County was slated to lose up to $22 million because of cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Just as Loofbourrow and his team prepared for the blow, Congress passed a temporary budget to avoid a government shutdown. That budget instead increased HUD's funding.

Matsui says their effort, along with homeless advocates nationwide, had an impact.

"We ought to be as flexible as possible at the federal level so that the local level can actually use housing in the best possible way," she told FOX40.

But the battle isn't over. Loofbourrow says more money for mental health will mean less has to be spent on housing, especially important, he says, for veterans.

"They need a support system. Fortunately were beginning to see that happen," Rep. John Garamendi, D-California, said.

Garamendi worked with members of Loofbourrows team, securing resources for veteran programs and coming up with new ones.

"We owe it to them to find programs that meet their needs," he said.