This project is the result of a partnership between The Tribune and the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting. The center is an independent news organization devoted to reporting about health care issues that concern Californians. It is headquartered at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and funded by the non-profit, non-partisan California HealthCare Foundation.
Over the 11-week effort, two reporters – one from the Tribune, one from the Center -- interviewed more than 200 people, including children, parents, social service employees, child and homeless advocates, therapists, county and state mental health officials, mental health advocates, community clinic administrators, family service agency staff, job search specialists, domestic violence and law enforcement experts, economic development staff, food bank employees, church and nonprofit staff and officials, public and private school officials, local business leaders, pre-school staff, homeless advocates and nonprofit mental health agency officials.
Three Tribune photographers shot two dozen photo assignments for the project.