South San Francisco strikes ahead with a assured earnings program | Native Information

South San Francisco became the first city in San Mateo County to offer a guaranteed income program aimed at serving the city’s low-income and vulnerable populations.

The city council unanimously approved the continuation of the program – led by Vice Mayor Mark Nagales – during its July 14 session.

“Our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet. And many of them have an uncertain future, ”said Nagales. “I know we can do it and I know we can help our residents.”

The MTC has identified the city as a worrying community with low-income and needy neighborhoods prone to displacement, and the majority of the Latinx community lives in the two lowest-income census areas, said Christina Fernandez, assistant to the city manager.

The Guaranteed Income program provides $ 500 per month to over 135 eligible families for 12 months. The city will enter into a contract with the YMCA to administer the program. It prioritizes foster children who move out of care, single heads of household, families with underage children, and those living in the city’s lowest-income census blocks. If there are more than 135 applications, the program administrator will implement a lottery system.

“After we’ve made the targeted outreach that is at this stage of bringing in the people who might qualify for this program, we’ll sit down with each and every one of them,” said Jane Chandler, director of clinical services at YMCA of San Francisco, called.

Along with this comprehensive intake process, they will get financial literacy programs and various resources available to them as they learn more about how to budget money and find specific programs to qualify for, she said. Once they are deemed eligible, they will be given a card for their payments.

Fernandez and Chandler also compared the City of Stockton’s Universal Basic Income Experiment and found that the rate of participants who could find full-time employment rose from 28% to 40% and that less than 1% of those funds were used on alcohol and Tobacco.

“With this financial security, they could spend most of their money on essentials like groceries, housing and gas,” said Fernandez.

Nagales raised concerns about whether individuals might be disqualified if they are already participating in a state or federal program.

Since there is no universal waiver of guaranteed income programs in the state, they are working to figure out what the extensive admission process might make them ineligible or reduce their public benefits, Chandler said.

“We found that living had the biggest negative impact,” she said. “Because that income is considered income in the housing world, most guaranteed income programs have created innocuous funds. In that case, this fund could be used to pay that rent. “

She also said it could affect grocery stamps, and they’re investigating exactly how.

Councilor James Coleman said he was glad to see people previously incarcerated could apply for the program.

“You have a criminal record and cannot find work and then you have to resort to poverty crime,” he said. It’s a really endless cycle of poverty. And this would be a way to help people recently laid off get back on their feet and become members of our communities. “

And he brought up a 2017 study that found that 57% of Americans couldn’t afford an unexpected $ 500 emergency and pointed to the need for such a program.

Undocumented people are also entitled to this program. Even if someone doesn’t have Social Security or an I-10, they can get a savings account using CFR, Chandler said.

Mayor Mark Addiego said he wanted to raise funds to reach as many families as possible. The amount was increased from $ 800,000 to $ 1 million.

“If we can show success and show how it really changes people’s lives, maybe others will step in and find the motivation to continue this program beyond a year,” he said.

In doing so, data is collected. One is from CFR, which is the electronic data on how people spend money on the cards, and the other is self-reports and survey narrative questions to understand how people are spending the money and why, Chandler said.

People voluntarily choose to share this data and are compensated for it. Data collection occurs at the beginning of the program and occurs quarterly after six, 12 and 18 months after the last payment.

The city will fund the program with funds from the American Rescue Plan. The staff would like to conduct training and contact the community in July and August, and August to September would be an application period. It is expected to start in mid-October.

California lawmakers approved the first federally funded guaranteed income plan in the US on July 15 for a total of $ 35 million. The monthly cash payments go to qualified pregnant people and young adults who have recently left the foster family, with no restrictions on use. The city plans to apply for this state funding program.


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