For the next two weeks, 17 News is devoting Kern County In Depth to finding solutions that will lead to a thoughtful and compassionate strategy to break the cycle of homelessness rooted in mental illness and drug addiction.

17’s Jim Scott spoke with a panel of advocates and service providers to help us better understand the scope of the problem, it’s root causes, and possible pathways to progress and possible solutions. Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, Dr. Matthew Beare, Medical Director of Special Populations for Clinica Sierra Vista, Stacy Kuwahara, Director of Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and Dr. Fred Rowe, a local psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Weill Child Guidance Clinic and One Door Recovery Center formed the panel.