FSJ News Updates,
A homeless camp during the winter in Denver, Colorado. (MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images/Hyoung Chang)
The city of Denver, Colorado is piloting a program to provide “vulnerable” homeless groups — including women, trans and non-binary people — with universal basic income.
On September 12, the Denver City Council approved the city’s participation in the Denver Basic Income Project, pledging $2 million in COVID-19 assistance to test the program. Denver Post reported.
The pilot program, similar to other universal basic income projects for vulnerable communities that have been trialled in the US, will provide homeless people with direct payments of $12,000 over 12 months.
This will help 140 homeless individuals and households assess how Universal Basic Income funds are impacting their lives.
Participants in the Denver program will be divided into two different study groups that will receive $12,000 in separate increments over one year. Another control group will receive $50 per month for 12 months, for a total of $600.
Michael B Hancock, Mayor of Denver, welcomed the program Twittersaying: “We are proud to offer direct cash assistance to help more than 140 Denver women and families currently in shelters move into stable housing and provide them with support to remain housed while opening space in our shelters so he can serve more people.”
We are proud to offer direct cash assistance to help more than 140 Denver women and families currently in shelters move into stable housing and provide them with support to remain housed while opening space in our shelters so that he can serve more people. 🙌🏾https://t.co/qzlRJX8c9V
— Michael B. Hancock (@MayorHancock) September 13, 2022
The Denver Post reported in August that the number of people experiencing homelessness in the city had increased by “roughly 800 people, or 12.8 percent” since January 2020, the increase targeted by the testing program.
According to the Denver City Council, the pilot program will study different groups to see how the payments affect their housing, employment, mental health and more.
Jennifer Biess, director of data, policy and strategy for the Denver Department of Housing Stability, said, “Through this project, we believe we can provide a small basic income to help people quickly and affordably exit the experience of homelessness. “