SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — While many people may be celebrating Christmas with their families, some slept outside in the cold trying to make a difference for the homeless in Sacramento.
For more than two weeks, the group has been protesting in front of City Hall, enduring rain and subfreezing temperatures to fight for better services for the homeless. They’re also seeking to repeal an ordinance that makes it illegal for homeless people to camp and sleep outdoors.
James Clark gave us a tour of the setup, now entering Day 18. He sleeps on the side of the curb along with about 30 others camped in front of City Hall.
“We’re not allowed to go to sleep without the police moving us two to three times a night, it’s very hard,” he said.
The occupation started on Dec. 8 as a dozen people wrapped themselves in blankets and other camping paraphernalia that violates the city’s camping laws trying to make a point.
While the protesters have been out for nearly three weeks, they’ve gotten a lot of love from the community with donations or food, water, hand warmers and a donation of Christmas gifts.
“Last night, they came out with food, clothes, hygiene products, and it was really great,” Michael Parker said.
The City of Sacramento spends more than $13.6 million annually to address homelessness in the past year. In the first nine months of the year, more than 1,200 homeless households were assessed for services and housing that meet their particular needs.
But one-third of the population is still on the streets.