Denver plans to provide 140 homeless people with $12,000 in no-strings-attached cash to lift them out of poverty, despite rising crime rates in the Mile-High City.
The city has allocated $2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to fund the program, which will be implemented by the Denver Basic Income Project.
The total program, which will cost about $9 million, is designed to help about 820 people, but the $2 million provided by the city will fund about 140 people.
The rest of the money will be raised through charities, including the Colorado Health Foundation and the Denver Foundation, said Mark Donovan, founder of the Denver Basic Income Project. Axios Denver.
As of January 2022, approximately 4,700 households have been homeless in Denver.
The participants — who are primarily women, transgender and non-affirming individuals — will be chosen at random after applying and will most likely begin receiving payments from November, according to ABC 7 Denver.
Denver Basic Income Project founder Mark Donovan (pictured) and his team will provide money to 820 homeless people. 520 of them will receive $12,000 each over the course of a year as part of a study to see if a basic income system would help with housing and mental health
“The pandemic has had a really big impact on homelessness in our community, and we’ve seen more and more families seeking shelter, as well as an increasing number of women taking advantage of our shelter system,” said Angie Nelson, deputy director of Housing Stability and homelessness solution, ABC told 7.
The program is divided into three different groups, with 260 receiving $6,500 upfront and then $500 per month for 12 months; another 260 will receive $1,000 per month for 12 months; and the control group of 300 gets a stipend of $50 per month to complete surveys.
All participants also receive a free cell phone and one year of service.
In addition, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless tracks how people use the money, helping participants get the things they need — such as furniture and kitchen supplies — and shelter.
Denver has approximately 4,700 households that are homeless
The program is divided into three different groups, with 260 receiving $6,500 upfront and then $500 per month for 12 months; another 260 will receive $1,000 per month for 12 months; and the control group of 300 gets a grant of $50 per month to complete surveys
Nelson said some of the participants will come from those who already use the city’s shelter services, but Axios Denver says they shouldn’t have serious mental health or substance problems.
“The Denver Basic Income Project is an opportunity to explore how the philanthropic community and the private sector can increase public support for people living in poverty, especially our unhomed neighbors, and extend that hand to stability,” he said. Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver. in a pronunciation.
The aim of the program is to investigate whether income will provide people with housing and better mental health. The University of Denver’s Center for Housing and Homelessness Research will conduct the study.
However, the results of the study will not be known until 2024.
Donovan expects about 100 cities to participate in the program by the end of the year.
“It’s a growing movement,” Donovan told Axios Denver. “The reason there is so much activity is that it works.”
Chicago is also participating in a similar project, distributing $30 million among 5,000 participants in $500 monthly installments.
Los Angeles launched a program in August, giving 1,000 participants $1,000 a month for three years.
On the other hand, critics fear that free money will lead to lazy employees.
Angie Nelson, deputy director of Housing Stability and Homelessness Resolution, said some participants will come from those who are already using the shelter system. The participants will also largely be women, transgender and non-affirming individuals
However, a study conducted by Voxfound otherwise.
Since 1982, Alaska residents have received between $1,000 and $2,000 per month from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which has eradicated extreme poverty, according to Vox.
When economists examined the behavior of employees with the stipends, they found that “the dividend had no effect on employment.”
Other countries such as Canada, Brazil and Germany have also tried basic income programs for different periods.