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SAINT PAUL, Minn., Dec. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Data is in for the nation’s first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot to use public dollars, and results show positive trends in employment, physical and mental health, and other indicators of well-being and quality of life, according to Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.

Mayor Melvin Carter and the City of Saint Paul launched the People’s Prosperity Pilot in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the second-ever mayor-led guaranteed income pilot, and the first to use funding from the CARES Act, along with state and private philanthropic dollars. Results of the People’s Prosperity Pilot were studied by the Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR) at the University of Pennsylvania.

Researchers found that the number of people employed increased from 49% at the beginning of the pilot to 63% six months after the program ended. While actively receiving guaranteed income payments, families also maintained or improved their financial stability, allowing them to save money and smooth income volatility. There was a 7% increase in participants transitioning to better quality homes during the guaranteed income program.

Recipients showed few symptoms of anxiety or depression (measured on the Kessler scale) and had favorable levels of well-being across the three subscales of general health, physical limits, and physical functioning. When payments stopped there was a decrease in average general health. The percentage of participants reporting feelings of high hope progressively increased throughout and beyond the study from 15% at baseline to 21% at the end of the program and 22% six months after the program ended.

“A guaranteed income addresses the basic cause of poverty—a lack of money,” said Mayor Carter. “This pilot shows that a relatively small, no strings attached payment can open up a world of opportunity. Leveraging an unconditional cash benefit on a national level is an obvious tool that can dismantle generational poverty.”

Saint Paul’s pilot is also the first affiliated with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of 125 mayors and growing, of which Mayor Carter is a proud co-chair. Building upon the early success of the People’s Prosperity Pilot, Minnesota recently passed the nation’s largest statewide expansion of the Child Tax Credit.

“The guaranteed income payments took a weight off my shoulders,” said Lucille O’Quinn, guaranteed income recipient. “It helped me go from survival mode to feeling like my family is going to be okay, no matter what. The sense of relief is real. It shows that government really can make a difference in our lives.”

The research findings from Saint Paul build upon the similar results from the first-ever mayor-led guaranteed income program in Stockton, CA, which provided 125 families with $500 per month for two years. Set up as a randomized control trial, researchers found statistically significant gains in employment, financial stability, mental health, and overall well-being.

“The results from Saint Paul’s guaranteed income program fill me with hope,” said Michael D. Tubbs, founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. “They are similar to what we saw in Stockton–people found better jobs, moved into safer housing, had more time to spend with their children, and overall felt more hopeful and less anxious about the future. It shows that guaranteed income can and does make families and communities stronger and more resilient.”

Read the full report on Saint Paul from CGIR here.

Founded in June of 2020 by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income is a coalition of 125 mayors committed to advancing a federal guaranteed income – direct, recurring cash payments to middle and low-income people. Expanding to include city and county legislators in 2023 with Counties for a Guaranteed Income, the network acts as a research and resource hub for municipal pilots around the country–48 and counting. A new documentary film, It’s Basic, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2023, follows recipients and illuminates the life-changing impact of guaranteed income programs on families’ economic security and opportunity.

SOURCE Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/results-of-saint-paul-guaranteed-income-pilot-show-increased-employment-improved-outlook-302018136.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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