meFor four days, a program that sends monthly payments of $500 to 305 families in Sonoma County, California, will send its next payment.
The Pathway to Income Equity pilot program selected 305 families from 6,450 applicants. To be eligible, applicants had to have at least one child under the age of 6, have been affected in some way by the coronavirus pandemic and have a household income no more than 185% above the federal poverty level, according to Sonoma County. Administration Office.
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Angie Dillon-Shore, executive director of First 5 Sonoma County, an independent public agency focused on early childhood development, said the program was essential to fighting family poverty and avoided criticism that it can encourage laziness.
“The number of applications we’ve received speaks to the issue that so many people in our community are struggling with,” he said. “The idea that giving people money is a disincentive to work is a myth. Most of our selected recipients are already working, many working more than one job or more than 40 hours a week just to survive. This extra income will allow them to spend more time with their families, find a better job or improve their financial well-being, leading to better outcomes for their children.”
The program is part of an experiment to see how guaranteed income affects impoverished families. The next program payment will be sent on May 17th.
“These payments will help families with young children who often struggle under the dual burden of high housing and child care costs, typically the two highest household expenses,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chairman of the Board of Sonoma County Supervisors.
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“The information we gain from this pilot program will help shape future efforts to improve the health and well-being of our community,” he added.
Dillon-Shore told the Washington Examiner that First 5 Sonoma County is using an “external evaluator to conduct qualitative research (surveys, interviews and focus groups) with participants over the two years,” and will release a preliminary and final report in spring 2024 and early 2025, respectively.