Inland SoCal United Way (ISCUW) last week announced the launch of a guaranteed income pilot program for Riverside and San Bernardino counties. (Courtesy ISCUW)

Inland SoCal United Way (ISCUW) last week announced the launch of a guaranteed income pilot program for Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

“Today, we take a bold step towards a more equitable future for Inland Region residents,” United Way CEO Kimberly Starrs said in a release. “The launch of our guaranteed income pilot embodies our commitment to eradicating the barriers that hinder the pursuit of dreams. With the support of our board, funders, and partners, we are sowing seeds of change that will grow into a harvest of empowerment for generations to come.”

The program will provide 500 pregnant individuals with cash payments of $600 per month and 120 former foster youth with $750 per month for 18 months. A third group, the control group, would receive $20 per month throughout the duration of the pilot along with $25 for every completed evaluation survey.

“This is intended to be equitable, because we believe in compensating community members for their time and contributions,” according to an email from ISCUW. “The incentive amounts are intended to provide the control group with compensation that is meaningful but at a level that would not significantly compete with the treatment group results.”

Throughout the pilot, ISCUW will provide resources and counseling for participants to help them identify and apply for other potential sources of financial support and services available to them once the pilot is completed and will be measuring how payments affect stability, well-being and life trajectory among other factors.

Stay up to date with the latest from The Record.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter today!

ISCUW will also administer post-pilot evaluations to participants to see if the 18-month time period was sufficient to put them on a path of financial stability or if future iterations should have a different timeframe.

“Our team hopes that the pilot will immediately improve stability and well-being for participants and their families, while also producing evidence for policymaking and long-term formalization of guaranteed income or similar model,” ISCUW said in an email.

The application for the pilot program went live last week for former foster youth in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. ISCUW is currently working with 32 formal outreach and referral partner agencies. The application for pregnant people, which is only available for Riverside County residents, will be available starting Feb. 8. Prospective applicants can call 2-1-1 or the guaranteed income program team at 951-289-3328 for information about how to apply. Pilot program participants will be selected randomly from the list of eligible applicants.

The program, first announced in November 2022, is supported by the Riverside County’s Children & Families Commission, the Guaranteed Income Pooled Fund, the James Irvine Foundation, US Bank, private funders and the California Department of Social Services, which awarded the nonprofit $5 million for the pilot.

“As state-funded guaranteed income pilots launch across the state, we look forward to the opportunity to assess the impact of economic interventions during key life transitions,” California Department of Social Services Director Kim Johnson said in a release. “We are excited to partner with Inland Southern California United Way, who will serve pregnant individuals and former foster youth.”

Read more about the pilot program here.

TN News is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet providing Riverside County with high-quality journalism free of charge. We’re able to do this because of the generous donations of supporters like you!

Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.