The executive director of Downtown San Diego Partnership’s homeless outreach team will take over Sacramento Steps Forward beginning this March, SN&R has learned.
Ryan Loofbourrow inherits the capital city’s main conduit for federal homelessness resources from Shamus Roller, a senior board member who managed Steps Forward on an interim basis when the former executive director abruptly resigned late last year.
Although Loofbourrow spent close to four years in charge of a San Diego program, he’s no stranger to Sacramento. A Sacramento State University graduate, Loofbourrow previously ran Downtown Sacramento Partnership's clean and safe program until 2011, his LinkedIn profile states.
According to his staff bio on DSD Partnership’s website, Loofbourrow helped reduce public intoxication calls in Sacramento by more than 80 percent and get north of 300 homeless individuals into housing during his roughly 14-year tenure with the local org.
Loofbourrow then left to help create basically the same program in San Diego in August 2011; it’s credited with reuniting 35 homeless individuals with their families throughout the United States.
Although tasked with homeless outreach, both cities’ programs worked closely with their respective business communities to expunge the physical signs of homelessness that might keep tourists away, like public intoxication and graffiti.
In that respect, Loofbourrow seems like a logical choice to head up Steps Forward, which has to bridge the sometimes conflicting goals of local service providers and those of the political and business communities.
While affordable housing policies are largely seen as the most effective way to roll back increasing homelessness rates in Sacramento, businesses are more concerned with ridding their storefronts of the visible signs of transience, which is becoming a higher priority for local politicians as they lay the groundwork for a new Sacramento Kings arena.
“We have a serious issue with the chronically homeless,” Councilman Steve Hansen said at the February 11 Sacramento City Council meeting. “They’re not only a danger to themselves, they really impact everyone around them. They defecate on themselves, they leave things for everyone else, they’re screaming on the corner.”
Loofbourrow didn’t respond to an email request for comment as of 2:30 p.m. February 14.