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Palm Springs launches Universal Basic Income pilot program with monthly payments of $800

A pilot program was recently launched in Palm Springs to test the effects of universal basic income (UBI) on marginalized communities.

Applications are still being accepted for the program, which aims to provide monthly payments of $800 to selected applicants for a year and a half.

Click here to apply by March 30.

This initiative is funded by $500,000 of initial funding from the city of Palm Springs, with local non-profit organizations QueerWorks or DAP Health collaborating to secure another $500,000.

The pilot program is open to residents who reside primarily in Palm Springs, are current or past clients of QueerWorks or DAP Health, and earn less than $17,000 per year. 30 people will be randomly selected to participate in the pilot program, with no restrictions on how the monthly payment can be spent.

According to Jacob Rostovsky, executive director of QueerWorks, "$800 can provide great benefits and be life-changing in some instances for residents in the area." Participants in other UBI pilots spent their payments on basic necessities such as food, transportation costs, and child care.

Participants must agree to monthly surveys and data collection to help create evidence-based policies and programs in the future. The application period for the program closes on March 30th, and the first payments will begin in May.

The program passed the previous Palm Springs city council with a split vote of 3 to 2. Councilmember Lisa Middleton voiced her concerns about the small scale of the project, stating, "My serious concern is the ability of these guaranteed income programs to scale up to the magnitude of the issues before us."

However, Rostovsky hopes that Palm Springs will lead the way in UBI and set a precedent for other parts of the country.

So far, more than 300 applications have been turned in, with hundreds of others started but not yet completed. The program aims to test the effects of UBI on marginalized communities and provide evidence for future policies and programs.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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