California to Grant Up to $1,200 a Month to 2000 Residents

By Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
November 23, 2022 Updated: November 23, 2022

Nearly 2,000 low-income pregnant mothers and former foster youth in California will receive monthly cash payments of $600 to $1,200 for up to 18 months, the state’s social services department announced Nov. 21.

The department has awarded more than $25 million to seven guaranteed income pilot projects that include the Inland Southern California United Way, the Los Angeles Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Ventura County Human Services Agency.

“We are excited to launch these groundbreaking pilot projects throughout California and I want to thank the Governor and the Legislature for yet another historic investment in the fight against poverty in California,” Department of Social Services Director Kim Johnson said in a release. “These pilots will serve as an important opportunity to assess the impact of an economic intervention during key life transitions, such as the birth of a child or entry into independence after extended foster care.”

The program was created to build on a similar pilot project in Stockton, California, called the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration. That project was launched in 2019 and randomly selected 125 residents who received $500 per month for two years.

It was also the nation’s first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot project. The city’s assessment of the project claimed those who participated were healthier and showed less depression and anxiety. About 12 percent of recipients were also able to find full-time jobs, according to the city.

Following the recent announcement from the state, the founder of Stockton’s program—the city’s former Mayor Michael Tubbs—said in a release he was proud to see the state usher in the promise of guaranteed income.

“Just as we saw with the pilot I led as mayor of Stockton, I’m confident these funds will provide crucial support for families and strengthen our communities,” Tubbs said.

The state program is expected to begin as early as January 2023 and will include up to a six-month planning period to develop the application and outreach processes, the social services department spokeswoman Theresa Mier told The Epoch Times.

Each pilot program will develop different eligibility criteria which will include an income threshold, Mier added.

“This effort will serve as an important opportunity to assess the impact of an economic intervention during key life transitions, such as the birth of a child or entry into independence after extended foster care,” Mier said.

Each of the seven organizations will be required to take part in an evaluation conducted by the Urban Institute and the University of California–Berkeley, the department reported.

California’s Legislature unanimously passed the state-funded guaranteed income plan in July 2021, setting aside $35 million for the monthly cash payments.

The state allocated $5 million for a pilot program at the Inland Southern California United Way. This program will provide 500 pregnant women and 150 former foster youth with $600 per month for 18 months, the department said.

In Los Angeles, the National Council of Jewish Women was awarded nearly $3.7 million and is expected to provide 150 pregnant women with diabetes $1,000 per month for 18 months.

Also, Ventura County Human Services Agency was given $1.5 million to provide 150 former foster youth with $1,000 per month for 18 months.

Located along the Northern California coast, McKinleyville Community Collaborative was given nearly $2.4 million to provide 150 pregnant women with $1,000 a month for 18 months.

The national nonprofit iFoster was awarded nearly $4.8 million to provide 300 former foster youth with $750 per month for 18 months.

The preterm birth initiative Expecting Justice was also awarded $5 million to provide 425 pregnant women who are disproportionately impacted by perinatal health disparities with $600 to $1,000 each month for a year.

Finally, the San Francisco Human Services Agency was granted $3.3 million to provide 150 former foster youth with $1,200 a month for 18 months.