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Hundreds of dollars monthly and no commitment: San Francisco Bay City introduces guaranteed income

South San Francisco this month sent out the first checks for $ 500 a month to about 150 low-income families, which they can spend as they see fit. This happened as part of the guaranteed income program in California, writes Mercury News.

Photo: Shutterstock

South San Francisco has launched a pilot income guarantee program. Its members receive monthly unconditional cash payments - with $ 1 million from the American Rescue Plan and a $ 100 grant from San Mateo County.

“We have been fighting poverty as a society for many years and we don't have enough achievements to show them,” said Dave Pine, San Mateo County Governor. “It's time to try something new.”

The program, which kicked off last week, comes a few months after Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill offering $ 35 million in funding to support current or future income-guaranteed pilot projects like those already in existence in Santa Clara County. Oakland, Marin County and San Francisco. These programs offer a range of $ 500 to $ 1000 per month for different populations, including foster children and pregnant women.

On the subject: California will be the first in the United States to pay residents a guaranteed income: who is entitled to it

The South San Francisco pilot project prioritizes foster youth, families with young children, and low-income families in a city of predominantly Asian and Hispanic Americans. According to the United Ways of California, 24% of the population does not earn enough to afford basic necessities. Illegals and previously imprisoned persons are also eligible to participate in the program.

The South San Francisco YMCA Community Resource Center will operate the program with support from Community Financial Resources, an Oakland non-profit organization that helps open bank accounts and debit cards for payments to residents. Participants undergo financial training.

Every three months, the YMCA will publish reports on trends in member spending. The goal is to determine the effectiveness of the guaranteed income, and the results can form the basis for larger programs in the future.

The idea of ​​a guaranteed income is a move away from old methods of care.

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Rules for how money should be spent on programs such as food stamps or requirements that unemployed people must look for work “don't really match the realities they face,” said Chris Hohen, executive director of the California Budget Center. and politics.

Hohen points to the results of the Stockton pilot project with a guaranteed income of $ 500 a month. According to the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration report, people who participated in this program were better able to find full-time jobs, pay emergency bills, and stay healthy.

“All the evidence points to the fact that people who do not have a lot of income are actually using extra cash wisely and looking for ways to become better,” concluded Hohen.

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In the U.S. California guaranteed income
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