California Funds Guaranteed Income for Former Foster Youth

California Funds Guaranteed Income for Former Foster Youth

A teenager sits in a class at a youth facility in Lakeside, Calif., on Jan. 27, 2005. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

11/9/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

Former foster youth in San Francisco and Ventura counties will have an opportunity to receive monthly incomes of $1,000 or more for 1 ½ years thanks to a new guaranteed income pilot program, announced Nov. 3 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The state’s Department of Social Services will run the programs, providing cash payments to recipients with a goal of overcoming poverty and finding stability. The counties’ human services agencies, which provide social services to residents, will distribute the funds.
“Guaranteed income programs help level the playing field and will give these former foster youth the support and resources they need to pursue their California dream,” said Mr. Newsom.
The city and county of San Francisco will receive nearly $3.5 million for 150 former foster youth, with payments of $1,200 per month. Ventura County will get more than $1.5 million for the same number of recipients with $1,000 monthly payments.
“The City and County of San Francisco is honored to be one of only two public entities across California to be awarded this state grant to launch a guaranteed income pilot project for former foster youth aging out of our care,”  San Francisco Human Services Agency Deputy Director of Policy, Planning, and Public Affairs Susie Smith said in the governor’s press release.
She said transitioning out of foster care can be challenging and will potentially be made easier with the income.
The agency director for Ventura County made similar remarks in the same announcement, saying the funds will help bring those from the foster care system out of poverty.
“This is an amazing opportunity. ... Investing in them is not only an investment in their future but in that of the broader community,” said Director Melissa Livingston.
The pilot programs build on the success of an initiative in Stockton, California, where its mayor, Michael Tubbs, led a guaranteed income program, launched in 2019, that gave 125 randomly selected residents $500 a month for two years with no strings attached.
Those behind the initiative, called the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, claim that recipients were found to be healthier showing less signs of depression and anxiety; that the program helped some find full time jobs, and motivated others to have more self-determination, taking risks, and making choices to help create new opportunities for themselves, according to the initiative’s website.
One participant said she used the money to help her children participate in more extracurricular activities.
“I’ve been able—my son wanted to go to a football camp—I was able to pay for that. So he got to go. I was able to buy him some new shoes. I was able to give him money so he wouldn’t be hungry when he was at his track meet when he would go out of town. It was basically for them,” the recipient was quoted as saying on the program’s website.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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