American Rescue Plan Act dollars to allow for continued data collection and assessment of pilot program
Monday, August 15, 2022
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined Amos House President and CEO Eileen Hayes, Dorcas International Executive Director Kathleen Cloutier, United Way of RI President and CEO Cortney M. Nicolato, RI Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg, Program Officer for Housing & Economic Policy of United Way of Rhode Island Kristina Brown, and Providence residents and Providence Guaranteed Income (PVDGI) participants Brandi Landry and Lititia Hall to announce a six-month extension of the PVDGI Program using Providence American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
Launched in July 2021, 110 individuals were randomly selected for the PVDGI pilot program by the Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR) research team from a pool of more than 4,000 applications, collected during a one-week application window in August 2021. To be eligible for the program, applicants were required to be Providence residents with an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Ultimately, 110 Providence residents have been receiving monthly $500 payments since November of 2021, which were previously scheduled to end in October of this year. Through the Providence Rescue Plan, Providence’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) budget, the PVDGI program will be extended for an additional six months.
“I am excited to stand with community partners and City colleagues to announce this extension of the Providence Guaranteed Income pilot program,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “This six-month extension will allow us to even better understand the impacts and outcomes 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 our city’s lowest-income residents to get back on their feet.”
A guaranteed income is a monthly cash payment given directly to individuals, empowering recipients to address their most urgent needs and providing a cushion for unpredictable expenses, external shocks, and income volatility. It is unconditional and is meant to supplement, rather than replace existing social safety net programs. The PVDGI program was designed as a randomized control trial to learn more about how to build effective guaranteed income and cash assistance programs. As part of the Mayors for Guaranteed Income (MGI) Coalition, Providence is working with the Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR), based at the University of Pennsylvania, to evaluate the program. This research, as well as the benefits counseling being provided to all participants in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, will continue during the program extension.
The six-month extension will use $500,000 of ARPA funding. The pilot program will continue to be administered by Amos House and Dorcas International.
“The Mayor’s guaranteed income pilot has been a blessing to the families who have been chosen for the program,” said Eileen Hayes Amos House President & CEO. “The incentive has allowed folks to breathe more freely in these times where prices for things like food, rent and housing have been soaring. I spoke to one woman who has been literally homeless for the past five years who has just gotten the keys to her own apartment, and she was excited to have the funds to buy furniture and other necessities. She let me know that the Mayor’s guaranteed income has allowed her to save for this moment that she has been waiting on for a very long time.”
According to the CGIR research team, the randomly-selected participants of the PVDGI program are 76% female and 24% male, and the median reported monthly income is $913. The race and ethnic makeup of participants are 45% Hispanic or Latino, 31% White, 19% Black, 5% Asian and 38% identified as another race, meaning they could identify as multiracial or as an ethnic makeup not identified. More than 60% of the participants have children under the age of 18 and the median participant age is 39 years old with 61% of participants between the ages 25-44 and 29% between the ages 45-64.
“It’s a relief to be a part of this pilot because if I need something, I can go get it,” said Brandi Landry, Providence Resident and PVDGI participant. “It feels good to know I can get things for myself, which is something I haven’t been able to do in a very long time.”
For additional information about the PVDGI program, visit PVDGI.com.