Guaranteed Income: A Way to Eradicate Poverty in America
In 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr boldly proclaimed that: in order to address poverty in America, we must provide citizens a guaranteed income.
In February 2019, 125 random Stockton, CA residents were selected to receive $500 a month for 24 months with no strings attached. Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is credited with this bold program that led to the creation of a national organization, Mayors for Guaranteed Income. In the last 3 years since, there are now over 80 known similar pilot programs in the United States, and growing.
Known as “The Political Capital of the World” Washington, DC has one of the highest per capita homeless rates in the nation with 9.3 citizens per every 1000 people. While much has been done to solve the problem, the city can go even further.
- Adjust the housing cost so that someone making the $15 minimum wage can live in the city
- Make seized asset forfeiture housing available to the homeless
- Exclude guaranteed income in social benefit programs
The National Coalition for the Homeless is introducing the Steve Thomas Guaranteed Income Project. A tireless housing, and poverty advocate, the program is named after our former speaker’s bureau coordinator who passed away in 2022. We want to honor his legacy by providing a simple solution to end poverty: no strings attached cash payments as a supplement to help end homelessness.
We have a unique approach. By combining direct cash payments, and housing, this project is one of the first in the nation to offer and execute this concept to end homelessness. Our first participant was selected at random and will receive $1,000 a month for 12 months followed by 99 selected participants over a period of time that will receive the same benefit from a focus group consisting of our city’s homeless population. Participants have the luxury to spend the money as they wish.
Here’s how guaranteed income will help restore people to healthy living
- Improves chances of returning citizens to have a home
- Protects people from being in hot & cold weather elements
- Children will have an opportunity to concentrate on social and educational opportunities
- A physical address allows people to improve employment opportunities
- People will no longer have to resort to naturally relieving themselves outdoors
Why Guaranteed Income is Important
- Provides supplemental income to those making minimum wage
- Allows those living below the federal poverty guideline to take care of their families
- Can provide a path to mental and economic security
Guaranteed Income is a part of our Bring America Home Now campaign that focuses on how stable income helps people exit homelessness. The National Coalition for the Homeless will evaluate the impact of financial stability through an evaluation process by dedicated team members of our Lived Experience Training Academy. Each recipient enrolled in our program will be paired with a peer support specialist through the duration of the project.