Guaranteed income pilot launches in Santa Clara County

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The Silicon Valley Guaranteed Income Project launched this week, adding Santa Clara County to the growing list of Bay Area regions experimenting with guaranteed income programs. The $5.8 million pilot project, funded by community partners, will support a select group of 150 Santa Clara County families with children under 18 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Families participating in the pilot will receive $1,000 per month of no-strings-attached cash assistance for two years. Distribution of the cash assistance is expected to begin this month.

The UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative will evaluate results of the pilot to see if it’s effective at combatting homelessness.

The project is pioneered by Destination: Home, the ¡Sí Se Puede! Collective, UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, Sacred Heart Community Service, the Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing, and UpTogether. Several other private donors are helping to fund the program, including, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Sobrato Philanthropies.

Commencement of the Silicon Valley Guaranteed Income Project comes just weeks after the state of California awarded $25 million to underwrite the first state-funded guaranteed income pilot programs. State grant money will fund seven pilot programs, providing between $600 and $1,200 to 1,975 Californians.

Advocates for the Guaranteed Income model hope to see California set a standard for the entire nation.