IEV Staff |
In July, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed America’s first state-funded universal income program.
The program allows cities and counties to apply for funding to support current or new programs that help foster youth who recently aged out of the system and pregnant mothers.
The pilot programs are designed to provide regular cash payments as a way “to disrupt poverty, advance equity, and support the basic needs of recipients,” states the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).
Last week, CDSS announced $25 million in grants were being awarded to seven pilot projects across the state, including the inland region. The Inland Southern California United Way will receive $5 million from the grants awarded by the state for a pilot program that will provide $600-$1,200 monthly payments to former foster youth and at-risk pregnant mothers.
The Inland United Way will use the funding to help 500 pregnant individuals and 150 former foster youth.
There was an upswing in support for universal basic income in the wake of glaring disparities in every aspect of American life exposed during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, Stockton became the first city in California to pilot a universal income program. It gave 125 people living in neighborhoods at or below the city’s median household income an “unconditional” $500 per month.
A team of independent researchers that conducted a study from February 2019 to February 2020 found that full-time employment rose among those who received the guaranteed $500 per month.
CDSS states that about 2,000 individuals across the state will receive monthly payments for between 12-18 months.