Saint Paul, MN

Saint Paul program offers $750 a month of guaranteed income for immigrants

Beth Torres

The International Institute of Minnesota has launched a new pilot program that gives 25 immigrant households living in St. Paul $750 a month in guaranteed income for a full year. The Institute is a nonprofit organization that assists newly arrived refugees from around the world, including Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The Institute provides refugees with a variety of services that help them achieve productive and fulfilling lives as new Americans, ultimately leading to self-sufficiency. This includes education and training to assist the refugees in learning work and language skills needed to obtain jobs.

What is the purpose of this guaranteed income program?

This St. Paul pilot program is the first in the nation to provide guaranteed income to refugees. The goal of the program is to help refugee households during that first critical year when they are new to the country and working toward establishing financial stability. Given the evacuation of thousands of Afghan people to the U.S., the Institute anticipates helping resettle three times the number of refugees this year compared to the previous year.

The $750 monthly cash payments are unconditional. Recipients can use the funds for whatever they decide is most important for their household. This includes (but is not limited to) paying for food, utilities, transportation, or medical care. The cash is meant to supplement household income earned through work or income received through social services programs.

The International Institute of Minnesota received funding for the program entirely through private donations, foundation grants, and anonymous donors. The City of Saint Paul is assisting in an advisory role only.

Other programs that provide guaranteed income

Communities around the country are developing guaranteed income programs and other types of cash assistance to help residents impacted by the pandemic.

Here are a few articles about these programs that might interest you:

What are your thoughts about cash assistance programs?

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