LA County's new pilot program, “Breathe,” aims to combat poverty by giving 1,000 Angelenos $1,000 a month for three years. The county teamed up with Strength Based Community Change (SBCC) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research.
“This is a monthly cash payment given directly to individuals and it’s unconditional, with no strings attached on how you spend it and no work requirements,” says SBCC department director Ely Fournier. The idea, explains Fournier, is to create more “breathing room,” hence the program’s name, for LA County residents that were affected by COVID and have been struggling.
There are five qualifications to be eligible for the program:
- You have to be 18 years of age or older.
- You have to live in an LA County neighborhood that falls at or below the county’s Area Median Household Income (AMI). There’s a tool on the website to see if you fall into that category.
- You have a household income that falls at or below the County’s AMI.
- You have been negatively impacted by COVID.
- You are not currently enrolled in another guaranteed income program.