The city of Long Beach, California has announced the launch of a guaranteed income program that will give cash to low-income families that depend on a single income earner. According to a city press release, the Long Beach Pledge program will give $500 a month for 12 months to 250 selected families, for a total of $6,000 per family.
To be eligible, families must reside in the 90813 zip code and live at or below the poverty line. The reason the program focuses on the 90813 zip code is because the city identified the area as having the most urgent need in terms of poverty rates and impact from the pandemic.
Funding for the $2 million guaranteed income program and its evaluation comes from the Long Beach Recovery Act.
The Long Beach Pledge program has been in the planning stages for well over a year. According to this short video from CBS Los Angeles, city officials initially discussed the program in July 2021 with the intent of providing cash to 500 families:
No-strings attached money to those in need
Recipients of the $500 a month receive the money as unconditional cash payments that they can spend as they see fit. The Long Beach Pledge website says the money acts as a supplement and not a replacement for other social safety net programs.
The site says that research has shown that giving people money is a direct way to eradicate poverty:
“As research has shown, the welfare impacts of a guaranteed income are widespread, including positive health outcomes, higher educational achievement, lower crime rates, and, in some cases, even lower spending on temptation goods like drugs and alcohol. A guaranteed income therefore invests in the dignity and future economic security of Long Beach residents."
How do you apply to receive money from the Long Beach Pledge program?
Officials say application for the Long Beach Pledge program should begin sometime in November 2022. Once the application period begins, you can apply at the Long Beach Pledge application portal.
What other income programs are available for people living in California?
In the last few years, many other city and county governments in California have launched pilot income programs. Many of them include a research component that will study the effectiveness of these programs in reducing poverty and assisting recipients to become financially self-sufficient.
Here are some of the California programs I’ve reported on recently:
- Los Angeles County is testing an income program that will give $36,000 to young adults over a three-year period.
- San Diego County has a rental subsidy program that gives $500 a month to go toward the rent of senior citizens.
- Mountain View’s “Elevate MV” program gives $12,000 to extremely low-income families.
What are your thoughts on Long Beach’s guaranteed income program?
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