BAKERSFIELD, Calif. --- — Bakersfield officials say there is no proof homeless individuals are systemically bussed to Kern County.
"Everyone believes that the rise of homelessness is caused by somewhere else," city council member Andrae Gonzales said.
Nearly 1 in 5 people who are homeless in Kern County were homeless before coming to town, Kern County Homeless Collaborative statistics show.
"We know that people are coming from other places, but we don't know exactly how they're getting here," Gonzales said. "We haven't found evidence of a systematic bussing program from another city."
The city is also joining an initiative spearheaded by the district attorney's office and KCSO Sheriff Donny Youngblood seeking to incarcerate drug offenders and people who commit certain types of theft and property crime.
This initiative, in part, is combating Prop 47, a bill that downgraded certain types of drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, which according to officials, is a direct result of the rising homeless issue.
Tonight at the city council meeting, the city is likely to adopt private security to patrol downtown, according to Mayor Karen Goh.
Gonzales says the security team, Trans West Security, will enforce four gaurds to patrol downtown, working eight hour shifts, seven days a week.