Two dozen or more homeless families, mainly mothers and children, disrupted D.C. Council chairman Kwame Brown's budget hearing demanding that cuts be restored to housing for the poor.
The protesters are from the old D.C. General Hospital site where the District shelters homeless families. The city's latest figures show that the number of homeless families since 2008 is up 46 percent.
Protesters say that as the city is giving money back to furloughed D.C. employees, it should restore a $7 million cut in housing.
Taujah Stroud brought her three children to the protest.
"We're all single mothers trying to raise our kids, but in D.C. General there's mold in the building we're constantly getting sick,” Stroud says.
Brown earlier warned not many cuts would stay.
"Clearly there's not enough money to return money to everyone,” Brown says. “I would like to see money come back to programs that have been cut."
Yet the mothers and their supporters say this is a problem that's been growing. They say they want out of the shelter and into a home.
"The crisis is a conglomeration of the lack of safety net services which we've been cutting continuously over the last four years,” says Janelle Treibitz of the Fair Budget Coalition.