Sonoma County guaranteed income program is giving $12,000 to select families

Beth Torres

Sonoma County has announced the launch of a new two-year program that will give 305 low-income families a total of $12,000 in guaranteed income. Families will receive the “no strings attached” money in payments of $500 each month over 24 months.

The Pathway to Income Equity is a pilot program that partners a coalition of community groups with Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Healdsburg. The goal is to create economic stability and reduce poverty for the participating families.

Funding for the program (which is estimated to cost $5.4 million) comes from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), First 5 Sonoma County, and Corazón Healdsburg.

This unconditional money allows families to spend their monthly payments however they see fit. Studies of other guaranteed income programs show participants spend most of the funds on food, utilities, automobile care, and transportation.

What are the eligibility requirements for Pathway to Income Equity?

To be eligible for this guaranteed income program, you must live in Sonoma County. You’ll need to meet specific income requirements and be pregnant and/or a parent or guardian of a child 0 to 5 years of age.

You’ll need to have been impacted by COVID-19. This includes having lost your job, some or all your income, or your housing due to the pandemic.

Your before-taxes gross household income must be less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. To learn more about eligibility requirements and to calculate your income to determine if you qualify, review the frequently asked questions posted on the First 5 Sonoma County site.

How to apply

To apply for this guaranteed income program, go to the Pathway to Income Equity website and complete the online application.

Be aware there is an application deadline. You can submit an application from September 1, 2022 through October 31, 2022.

Other guaranteed income programs give thousands of dollars to help people through tough economic times

There are many programs around the country providing people with additional income. Here are a few of the articles I’ve written about these programs:

What do you think about guaranteed income programs?

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