Breathe: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program — which provides 1,000 randomly selected residents with $1,000 a month for three years — has drawn tens of thousands of applications, including 95,000 received in a single day, county officials announced Thursday.
“The enrollment phase alone has shown us the high demand for guaranteed income and reinforced the continued need for a multi-pronged approach to ending poverty,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell.
The County is now launching a series of other programs to help stabilize local residents and to “provide upward mobility in this post-pandemic environment,” officials said in a news release.
Among the upcoming programs:
— The County in investing $9 million to train workers from the communities most impacted by COVID-19 for jobs in high growth industries. The High Road Training Partnerships program will launch in May and will provide training and placement opportunities in green infrastructure, entertainment and digital media, technology, healthcare and advanced manufacturing.
— The County is leveraging American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to expand its Careers for a Cause program, which will train individuals, many with lived experience, for one of the 4,000 vacant positions in the County’s homeless services system.
— The County is employing youth ages 16-24 in high-road jobs through its new Youth@Work Elevate program, launching in May. Youth@Work Elevate will leverage $5 million in ARPA Funding to provide 400 hours of paid work experience to young residents while exposing them to different career opportunities in high-growth sectors. The County is working directly with employer partners to provide opportunities for young people while also assisting the business community.
Breathe: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program is believed to be the longest-running program of its kind in the nation. Over the next three years, Los Angeles County will invest $36 million to get $1,000 a month directly into the hands of 1,000 randomly selected County residents who live in communities heavily impacted by the pandemic and meet income thresholds for the program.
The County’s research partner in the program, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research, is now reviewing the data and removing unqualified and duplicate applications. The academic team will also study the long-term impacts the monthly income has on residents’ economic well-being and how to effectively support Los Angeles County residents in the years to come.
Applicants selected will be notified in May 2022.
Breathe was created as the result of a motion co-authored by Supervisor Mitchell and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to provide people-centered solutions to address poverty. The program is overseen by LA County’s Poverty Alleviation Initiative and supported by leading foundations in Los Angeles and the country.
As economic fallout from the pandemic continues, residents are encouraged to visit LA County Recovers – COVID-19 for information and a full list of resources. The resources are also available at breathe.lacounty.gov and respira.lacounty.gov.
[Information via news release from Los Angeles County.]