California families receiving money from a guaranteed income program are set to receive their next payment from the program in 18 days.
The Pathway to Income Equity pilot program selected 305 out of 6,450 applicants from Sonoma County last year to receive $500 every month. To be eligible, applicants had to have at least one child under age 6, be affected in some way by the coronavirus pandemic, and have a household income of no more than 185% above the federal poverty level, according to the Sonoma County Administrator's Office.
"These payments will help families with young children who are often struggling under the double burden of the high costs of housing and child care — typically the two highest household expenses," said Chris Coursey, the chairman of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
"The information we gain from this pilot program will help shape future efforts to improve the health and welfare of our community."
The program accepted applications for the payments last year, of which officials said that 2,383 met the eligibility requirements. The application period was from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, 2022.
Sonoma County officials will study what effect this additional monthly income has on reducing poverty and promoting economic mobility for families with young children, according to the administrator's office.
"We are working with an external evaluator to conduct qualitative research (surveys, interviews, and focus groups) with the participants over the two years," Angie Dillon-Shore, the director of the nonprofit group First 5 Sonoma County, told the Washington Examiner. "The preliminary findings of the first year will be available in spring 2024, and then a final evaluation report after the pilot concludes in early 2025."
Officials said the payments are delivered on the third Wednesday of each month. The final payment for this program will be issued in December 2024.