Austin To Implement ‘Guaranteed Income’ Pilot Program to Combat Homelessness
What do you think about guaranteed income programs?
What’s the story?
- Austin will become the first Texas city to try out a guaranteed income initiative after the city council approved a year-long pilot program to send $1,000 to 85 households.
- The capital of Texas joins 28 other U.S. cities that have tried similar programs to send no-strings-attached cash to families in need, with the goal of preventing homelessness. According to the City of Austin, roughly 1 percent of the population is homeless.
- Mayor Steve Adler said in a press conference:
“We can find people moments before they end up on our streets that prevent them, divert them from being there. That would be not only wonderful for them, it would be wise and smart for the taxpayers in the city of Austin because it will be a lot less expensive to divert someone from homelessness than to help them find a home once they’re on our streets.”
- There would be no restrictions on how qualified participants can spend the money they receive, but who exactly will qualify is still being worked out.
- California nonprofit UpTogether will work with the city to run the program, and the nonprofit think tank Urban Institute will track the program’s impact. Adler also belongs to a coalition called Mayors for Guaranteed Income, which plans to use the results from the pilot program to lobby the White House and Congress to craft legislation for national guaranteed income.
Guaranteed Income at the Federal Level
- Guaranteed Income programs in cities across the country have shown positive effects, but proponents of the plan argue that federal policy is ultimately needed to enact long-term change.
- End Poverty Make Trillions is one organization working to make federal guaranteed income a reality, ending financial poverty and helping the U.S. save trillions of dollars at the same time. Read more about the plan here.
What do you think about guaranteed income programs?
(Photo: Wikimedia / George Miquilena)
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Step back and look at the homeless issue from a broader perspective. Homeless Americans are a long term economic cost to the areas where they live. Social services, written off enegency care, police resources to assure they are not beaten senseless or otherwise abuses or that they follow local laws are all an economic burden. I suspect that the costs of providing minimal funds and/or minimal shelter and sustenance and even counseling and mental health services could be much less costly in the long term. Besides it is the humanitarian thing to do for Americans at risk.
The 'me-first' MAGA crowds dismissal of peopke in need worries me. If our country shared a common border with Ukraine, I cannot imagine that they would allow safe passage of the masses escaping Russusn aggression. They would be branded as drug mules, human traffickers and criminal gangs coming to spend the tax dollars contributed by the more compassionate blue states instead of going to their low income red states and be enraged.
In the context of humanitarian support, Poland, Hungary, Rumania and Moldova are each more evolved than our country - which has devolved greatly in its suffering from the MAGA madness.
I am saddened that we collectively have allowed this to happen to our country.
Pilot programs are being run for universal income programs for special populations like low income, mothers of infants and the Austin Program is for homelessness based on 2 other pilot programs in CA and CO, both privately funded and run in conjunction with university as studies (require a protocol reviewed by an ethics board with academic oversight to insure previous studies & programs have been considered and participants, monthly amounts, durations aren't just randomly selected).
My recommendation would be to provide grant money to universities to conduct studies in specific localities as they are trying to find tune exactly how much money per month ($500 v $1000) and whether it's all monthly or some is upfront and less per month.
Universal income was advocated by MLK (1967) in his book, "Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community”
Found 2 previous pilots with a quick literature search (more probably exist and a more detailed search should be conducted before setting up a pilot):
1) SFO (CA) Miracle Money (2021) funded through a GoFundMe campaign set up by sociologist Kevin Adler - $500/month to 14 homeless people for 6 months where 2/3rds secured housing by the end of the program.
2) Denver (CO) Denver Basic Income Project (2021)- University of Denver’s Center for Housing and Homelessness Research (CHHR) program raise $7.4 million to help 820 homeless Denver residents who are currently homeless - conduct a randomized control trial to analyze the effects- 3 cohorts: 260 people receive $6,500 upfront, followed by $500/month for 11 months; another 260 receive $1,000/month for 12 months; and 300 people will receive $50/month for completing surveys.
The Colorado program was looking at how best to update Colorado public Assustance Programs setup in 1992 where a household of 2 in Colorado received $280 a month in government assistance and in 2021, a household of two receives roughly $365 a month from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Over 30 years assustance increased 30% while rent for a two-bedroom apartment increased by more than 200%.
We need to do something about homelessness in this country. Why can't "the greatest country in the world" feed, house, or provide healthcare for it's people? We're the richest in the world, and yet so many are struggling while the richest are getting richer while more and more people can't afford housing or food.
I don't know if guaranteed income is the best way, because we have very limited data on its effectiveness in our country. Other countries do it, but those countries also provide free healthcare to all citizens, so it's not the same. I support these types of efforts to see if it helps, but I also support other efforts to make housing, food, and healthcare more affordable for all.
In a country that is run by a bunch of people who repeatedly extol Judeo-Christian values, why do our leaders repeatedly fail to follow the messages about caring for the poor? Why is it so bad to help people in need?
How about job training? Or rehabilitation? Both? This is just another stupid program that the socialist liberals created. A money pit that just keeps getting deeper.
We have the money for programs like this. Texas has wasted money on inspecting trucks at the border and sending buses of immigrants to DC. They could have spent that money on housing or other social services. They're certainly not spending it on healthcare or education.
Our country has the money for programs like this. We can stop giving corporate and wealthy handouts and stop wasting money on the military until they account for where they spend their money. We can stop giving subsidies to gas/oil companies and big agriculture.
It's all a matter of priorities, and too many in this country are willing to throw money at wealthy and corporate interests instead of helping the actual people. "Handouts" is a ridiculous, cruel word used to look the other way. If Jesus called on us to love our neighbors, why are we still loving our corporate overlords more?
In my mind I believe $1,500 a month would be more help. I thought this was one of Pete Buttigig platform bases.This puts folks, single just above poverty level. But allows them a chance to advance themselves. If we are talking about forgiving college loans, why not help those homeless and working poor.
This would not be necessary if corporations paid a fair living wage and created proper flex accomodating work environments
no two people are the same and have different capacities efficiencies productivity
in the end we have to take care of our whole communities so we either assimilate or pay higher taxes for the margins to sit out
there will always be some folks at the extreme margin but as long as we minimize and assimilate a broader swath society will be better off
While I think we need to do what we can to help get people stay off the streets, throwing money at them will not work. The Democrats are known for throwing money at problems, but never actually addressing the problem.
Now I don't know which political parties idea this was, but it's stupid. While some may use the money to actually help themselves, most will use it for drugs and other crap they don't need.
And why in the Hell should our government give a guaranteed income to anyone, with no stipulations on how that money can be spent?
I also have another question. Who gets this money? Will illegals get it too? And who is paying for these people to get guaranteed income for doing nothing? I sure hope it's state money and not federal. I am personally tired of paying for handouts and with verification of where that money goes or what it is actually being used for.
I prefer when these programs
1) Are at least equal to the poverty line in $ amount
2) Go to EVERYONE. We all need a safety net and shouldn't prioritize one group over another
3) Have a repayment plan that, once someone is on their feet and working, they pay a bit of the income back through a flat tax that eventually phases them out of the program. This can reduce the program costs by 10X
Sounds like a resonible plan, I would like to see results from a trial.
Basic income programs in other cities have been shown to work. Hopefully it works in Texas too.
Housing is a human right.with corporations raking in trillions of tax dollars in subsities, and rents scyrocketing to the point where a fully employed person can't afford a place to live- this is a step in a positive direction. We need housing and healthcare for ALL!!!
GET A JOB
The issue is with how the homeless will use the money. Do not provide it as cash, instead provide as food stamp credit card and as housing. Require attendance checks for continued benefit.
In our plutocracy, those who can need to be able to care for those beaten and broken by an immoral corrupt system driven by greed
Why worry about homeless? Lets just send billions and billions to foreign countries.
Homelessness has been around for some time. We have clean up on those profitting off of homelessness.
This idea has been used in other parts of the world to great positive effect.
A Very Quick Search Reveals There Are One Bedroom Apartment Being Offer At or Below $800 / Mo.Didn't look into utilities. Clearly cell phone is a necessiity.
$1,000 / month is just too little for a single mom with kids.
A single, functional person might manage.
Money alone does not explain WHY a given person is homeless. So money alone may not solve the problem.
Honestly, I think we DO need to address these concerns. The easiest way is to tap the very rich and pluck a few percentages and let them take care of these unfortunate folks. They can afford it.
We do have to live with a constantly growing population with a poor education system in many locations which puts families into difficult situations, so monetary help would be benefical.
Socialism with controlled capitalism may be the only answer for what ails Americans?
People must always come first. No one in the United States should be homeless and hungry. It's simple make the wealthiest and their corporations stop tax-dodging and pay their fair share!
It really distresses me that the Capitol city of my state has become a complete shithole and is rushing to become San Francisco East. So, it comes as no surprise the powers-that-be would think it's a great idea to pay people to be useless and dependent. No one enables a throwaway society like Leftists. Why, because a large and expanding underclass keeps them in power. Like California, Washington, Oregon, etc., those who vote for this dutifully head for the exit when things become untenable and quality of life is ruined. President Trump was absolutely right. Everything the Left touches turns to shit.
Tax the 1% appropriately and we can do this and more for the people! Wonder what those rich people we pay to work for the benefit of their constituents will do? hmmmmmmm Don't forget about that over-inflated military budget which the rich get richer for and the rest suffer because of.
MARXISM/SOCIALISM/COMMUNISIM TAKE YOUR PICK.
This is a good idea. It's always good to help the poor. Plus it will put food on the table as well as help the economy.
It has worked in other places and those getting the funding seem to use it to help thsir families
It seems that in other places they work well keeping people out of poverty. $1000 a month isn't much if you are a rich white guy but for many people, this could keep people in their homes and buying food and medicine