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California Launches Basic Income Program for Former Foster Children 

Tanu Henry, Antonio Ray Harvey and Joe W. Bowers Jr. | California Black Media

      Former foster youth living in the city and county of San Francisco are eligible to apply for a Guaranteed Income Pilot Program that will pay them $1200 a month for 18 months.

      “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 Gov. Gavin Newsom in a statement when he announced the program Nov. 3. 

      To support the program, the state awarded San Francisco $3,439,090.  Another Guaranteed Income Pilot program will be launched in Ventura County with a $1,538,758 state investment. 

      “These pilots, through the Department of Social Services, will provide unconditional, individual, regular cash payments intended to disrupt poverty, advance equity, and support the basic needs of recipients,” said a press release from Newsom’s office.

      San Franciscans who participate in the program will receive counseling and the state will measure the impact of the program on their lives and their eligibility for other public benefits. 

      “Transitioning out of the foster care system can be incredibly challenging for many of our youth, and this sustained unconditional income over 18 months will help systems-involved youth pursue their hopes and dreams. In doing so, our goal is to disrupt the cycle of poverty and advance a more equitable future for former foster youth,” said San Francisco Human Services Agency Deputy Director of Policy, Planning, and Public Affairs Susie Smith. 

      “This is an amazing opportunity to break the cycle of poverty experienced by many young adults transitioning out of foster care,” Smith added. 

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