Providence Extends $500 Guaranteed Monthly Income Program with $500,000 in ARPA Funds
Monday, August 15, 2022
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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced on Monday a six-month extension of the Providence Guaranteed Income Program (PVDGI) using Providence American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars.
The program, which launched in July 2021, uses $500,000 in federal funds for its prosecution.
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According to the city, 110 people were randomly selected for the PVDGI pilot program by the Guaranteed Income Research Center (CGIR) research team from a pool of more than 4,000 applications, collected during a window one week application in August 2021.
To be eligible for the program, applicants had to be residents of Providence with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Ultimately, 110 Providence residents received monthly payments of $500 since November 2021, which were previously scheduled to end in October of this year. Thanks to Providence’s ARPA budget, the PVDGI program will be extended for an additional six months.
“I am thrilled to stand alongside community partners and City colleagues to announce this extension of the Providence Guaranteed Income Pilot Program,” Elorza said. “This six-month extension will allow us to better understand the impacts and results of guaranteed income, especially as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. For many individuals and families, this income is life changing. , helping some of our poorest residents of the city get back on their feet.”
About the program
According to the city, guaranteed income is a monthly cash payment paid directly to individuals, allowing recipients to meet their most urgent needs and providing a cushion for unpredictable expenses, external shocks and income volatility. It is unconditional and aims to complement rather than replace existing social safety net programs.
The PVDGI program was designed as a randomized controlled trial to learn more about how to create effective guaranteed income and cash assistance programs. As part of the Coalition of Mayors for Guaranteed Income (MGI), Providence is working with the Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR), based at the University of Pennsylvania, to evaluate the program. This research, along with benefits counseling provided to all participants in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Social Services, will continue during the program extension.
The six-month extension will use $500,000 in ARPA funding. The pilot program will continue to be administered by Amos House and Dorcas International.
“The Mayor’s Guaranteed Income pilot project has been a blessing for the families who have been chosen for the program,” said Eileen Hayes Amos House, President and CEO. “The incentive has allowed people to breathe more freely in these times when prices for things like food, rent and housing have skyrocketed. I spoke to a woman who has literally been homeless for five years and who just got the keys to her own apartment, and she was thrilled to have the funds to buy furniture and other necessities. She let me know that the mayor’s guaranteed income saved her for this moment that she had been waiting for for a very long time.
According to the CGIR research team, the randomly selected participants in the PVDGI program are 76% female and 24% male, and the reported median monthly income is $913. The race and ethnic composition of the participants were 45% Hispanic or Latino, 31% White, 19% Black, 5% Asian and 38% identified as another race, which means they could identify as multiracial or as a unidentified ethnic composition.
More than 60% of participants have children under the age of 18 and the median age of participants is 39 with 61% of participants between 25 and 44 years old and 29% between 45 and 64 years old.
For more information on the PVDGI program, visit PVDGI.com.