Guaranteed income programs are sprouting across the US as two large counties prepare to give millions of dollars to people who are tight on funds.
The nonprofit Inland SoCal United Way is teaming up with the California Department of Social Services in a new pilot program designed to give away $10 million to residents of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
Specifically, the program is handing out $600 in monthly cash payments to 500 expecting mothers and $720 monthly to 120 former foster youth for one and a half years.
The pilot will also randomly select an additional 620 applicants for its control group which will help local and state officials evaluate program outcomes. They will not collect monthly payments but will receive some form of incentive.
All program participants will be given access to resources that would help improve their financial well-being.
Signups are expected to open in the coming months.
Expecting mothers must have a household income of less than $90,616 per year and must be at least 18 years old, in the first six months of their pregnancy at time of application, a resident of Riverside County and referred by an agency working with the program to be eligible.
Former foster youth who are turning 21 years old and living in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties are welcome to apply.
The program will be partially funded by a $5 million grant from the California Department of Social Services. The rest of the funding will come from various foundations, public agencies, non-profit organizations and private donors.
Says Inland SoCal United Way CEO Kimberly Starrs,
“Today, we take a bold step towards a more equitable future for Inland Region residents.
The launch of our Guaranteed Income Pilot embodies our commitment to eradicating the barriers that hinder the pursuit of dreams. With the support of our board, funders, and partners, we are sowing seeds of change that will grow into a harvest of empowerment for generations to come.”