Louisville pilot program guarantees some young adults will receive basic income payments for a year – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

The guaranteed income aims to cover the basic needs of residents. The idea is to ease some financial burden so they can focus on achieving stability. That can mean higher education, learning a trade, and even saving to break out of the paycheck-to-paycheck life cycle.

At a news conference Friday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the city is launching a pilot program that will provide select young adults with a basic income to give them a chance to explore different options and opportunities.

“The goal is to provide a foundation for young people transitioning into the world of work, especially at a time when there are many challenges and uncertainties,” Fischer said.

Metro Government, Russell: a Place of Promise and Metro United Way are behind YALift!, Louisville’s first guaranteed income program. The city and organizations developed the program in partnership with Mayors for Guaranteed Income, a national group that has supported similar pilot initiatives in 19 other US cities.

The program will use a lottery system to randomly select up to 150 residents who will receive $500 per month for one year – with no strings attached. Beneficiaries will be able to spend the money according to their needs. This may include rent, food, or childcare.

Maya White is an economic analyst at Russell: a Place of Promise, which is a neighborhood development project alongside Metro Government.

“The way we talk about poverty is different now. Even the policies and processes of social protection systems are approached differently,” White said. “[Guaranteed income] confronts the root of economic violence, which is poverty.

YALift! will also conduct a research study to determine whether, over time, guaranteed incomes contribute to improved financial stability, housing, food security and general well-being of residents. Organizers will collect data and experiences from residents to strengthen a national push for a federal guaranteed income program.

It will seek an additional 180 residents to participate in its research component alone. All participating residents, both those receiving payments and not, will be asked to complete surveys throughout the 12-month duration of the program to help inform the overall study.

Mayor Fischer said a california city has seen success with its guaranteed income pilot project.

“In Stockton, California, people who received guaranteed income were twice as likely to get a full-time job as those who didn’t. They also reported lower anxiety, lower levels of depression,” he said.

Michael Tubbs, former Mayor of Stockton launched a nonprofit this week that focuses on ending poverty in California.

Colleen Reilly is a project manager at Metro United Way, the organization overseeing the program. She said one of the goals of the pilot project will be to advance racial equity.

“The measure of a community’s success is not by those who already have the opportunity to thrive, but by those who are still fighting for them,” Reilly said. “We are driven by the possibility that more of our neighbors will achieve the goals we all share for ourselves and our families: health, safety, opportunity, and the ability to fulfill our potential and pursue our dreams. »

An important factor to note is that monthly payments from the program are considered government gifts and could affect participants’ eligibility to receive additional benefits, if they push them above the income limits for certain programs. YALift! will offer benefits advice to residents selected to receive a monthly payment before making commitments. This is intended to help residents decide if participating in the pilot project is best for their particular situation.

To be eligible, residents must meet two conditions: be between the ages of 18 and 24 and live in the neighborhoods of California, Russell or Smoketown.

Metro United Way officials said as of Friday the organization had received 100 applications and 400 were awaiting completion.

Residents can learn more about YALift!and apply through Metro United Way. The application period is open until February 21. The organization is expected to begin distributing the first round of payments in late April.

Support for this story was provided in part by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.

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