Louisville to pay some residents $500 a month through guaranteed income program
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville is the latest city to launch its own guaranteed income program where the government issues some residents a monthly payment in hopes of bringing them out of poverty.
People participating in the program will receive $500 a month for a year. There are no restrictions on how the payments are spent.
Metro government, Metro United Way, and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income will fund the $900,000 pilot program, called YAlift. Louisville Metro will contribute $100,000 to cover administrative fees.
People 18 to 24-years-old living in the California, Russell, and Smoketown neighborhoods are eligible. 150 young adults will be selected.
“The idea is to support people’s agency and choice in regards to health, safety, opportunity, and fulfillment, a goal that every person has regardless of income,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “And it’s a heck of a lot harder for people to have if they don’t have the base level income.”
“People always say to me, ‘Mayor, what’s the answer to poverty?’ And I simply answer, ‘Money,’” Fischer added.
Fischer said similar programs are happening across the country, and they have shown impactful results after extensive research.
During Stockton, California’s program, full-time employment rose among people receiving the guaranteed income. Their physical and mental health also improved, according to research.
However, the fact that the program doesn’t monitor how the $500 monthly payments are spent has some people in Louisville in doubt.
“It’s going to be like a catch 22 on that,” James Jensen, who lives in the West End said. “There are going to be some people who will spend it on dope and booze and stuff like that. Other people are going to try to bring themselves up out of this.”
“I don’t know if it would help or if it would be bad giving it to some people, they may not use it the right way,” Gavin Ray, who lives in Louisville added.
Applications are due Feb. 21, and the first payments will be issued in April.
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