Guaranteed income pilot programs to receive state funds

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(BCN) — In efforts to combat extreme poverty, California is backing guaranteed income programs across the state for the first time. Announced Monday, the California Department of Social Services plans to hand out $25 million in cash payments to nearly 2,000 residents facing challenging conditions, specifically targeting those who are pregnant or aging out of extended foster care.

Individuals in the program will receive unconditional and regular payments of $600 to $1200 a month for 12 to 18 months. All pilot programs will be evaluated by the Urban Institute and the University of California, Berkeley to assess if providing financial assistance to residents during life transitions, like child birth or entry into independence, could prevent them from falling further below the poverty line.

“We are excited to launch these groundbreaking pilot projects throughout California and I want to thank the Governor and Legislature for yet another historic investment in the fight against poverty in California,” said CDSS Director Kim Johnson. The pilot builds on previous success found at guaranteed income programs on a local scale, like Stockton’s first-in-the-nation Economic Empowerment Demonstration.

Facilitators said giving some Stockton residents an extra $500 a month improved their overall economic stability, well-being and job prospects. “I am proud to see my home state of California ushering in the promise of a guaranteed income to build financial resilience among our residents,” said Special Advisor for Economic Mobility and Opportunity and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income Founder Michael Tubbs.

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“Just as we saw with the pilot I led as mayor of Stockton, I’m confident these funds will provide crucial support for families and strengthen our communities.”

The San Francisco Human Services Agency will receive $3.3 million in funds to distribute to 150 former foster youth. It’s joined by six other organizations throughout the state receiving funds that will go towards assisting former foster youth and pregnant people.

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