The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) recently launched a three-year Guaranteed Income Pilot Program for 300 youth between the ages of 18 and 24 who are currently receiving County employment services through the General Relief Opportunities for Work (GROW) Program.
GROW offers targeted services through the TAYportunity Program that is designed specifically to support youth who are receiving General Relief benefits. Many of these youth have had limited education and career opportunities and have experienced significant life challenges, including being unhoused or unsheltered.
GROW offers support with pursuing employment, apprenticeships, or entrepreneurships, along with training to develop new skills. With the launch of the Guaranteed Income Program, the 300 randomly selected youth will receive $1,000 a month in guaranteed income for 36 months.
“These young people have had to develop personal strength and resilience to overcome so many challenges in their lives. Much like all of us, they just need an opportunity to put their talents and abilities to work. Offering guaranteed income could very well be the key to fully unlocking their potential,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who authored the motion to launch the pilot program.
“I am so inspired by the youth that we serve, and I believe offering this additional financial support has great promise and could be just what they need to achieve personal and professional success,” added Dr. Jackie Contreras, Acting Director for DPSS.
“It is a blessing that I was selected to receive the TAYportunity Guaranteed Income Program. Now I will be able to save money, buy a car and find housing,” said program participant Robert B.
Recent analysis shows that child poverty has fallen 59 percent since 1993. Efforts to address poverty have stemmed from an expanded safety net, through the earned income tax credit as well as the supplemental nutrition assistance program. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical need to build additional programs to protect vulnerable youth who live paycheck to paycheck to match the state of the economy and high cost of living in Los Angeles County.
Recent research has shown that Guaranteed Income programs have been linked to reducing income volatility, improving psychological health and well-being, and obtaining full-time employment for program participants. Guaranteed income offers a further expansion of the safety net and does so in a way that offers recipients the flexibility to make rational investments responsive to their needs.
The Guaranteed Income and TAYportunity program is administered only to GROW youth. For more information, visit the TAYportunity Program website.