Sacramento County Guaranteed Income Program: $725 Per Month Coming in July

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Some California residents will soon start getting a monthly guaranteed income. Specifically, the guaranteed income program is for residents of Sacramento County. The Sacramento County guaranteed income program will give eligible residents $725 per month for a year.

Sacramento County guaranteed income program: what is it?

Last month, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the guaranteed income program, called the Family First Sacramento pilot program. The program aims to help low-income Black and Native American families.

The Sacramento County guaranteed income program, which will launch in July, will provide $725 per month to eligible African American and Native-American families with children up to 5 years old.

About 200 low-income families in the county are expected to benefit from the program. Recipients will be selected through a lottery system.

The program will select recipients living in the following zip codes: 95838 (Del Paso Heights), 95828 (Florin), 95815 (North Sacramento), 95823 (Valley High) and 95821 (Arden Arcade), as well as the Wilton Rancheria tribe.

Sacramento County officials plan to analyze data from the guaranteed income program, such as the financial health of recipients, how they spend the money, and more, to find ways to improve the program.

Sacramento County’s median household income was $84,010, while more than 12% of the population lives in poverty, according to 2023 Census data. Funding for the program comes from state money, as well as from a partnership with the United Way California Capital Region.

Growing popularity of guaranteed income programs

Guaranteed income programs have grown popular after the COVID-19 pandemic. Several cities and localities have developed similar programs to assist families living in poverty. About 150 to 200 guaranteed income pilot programs have been launched in the U.S. in the last two years.

For instance, Atlanta, Georgia launched one of the biggest guaranteed income pilot programs in 2022, called “In Her Hands.” The program offered $850 per month for two years (or an upfront payment of $4,300) to 650 Black women in three Georgia communities.

Similarly, California launched its first state-funded guaranteed income pilot program in November last year. The pilot program gave $1,000 per month to 150 Ventura County residents and $1,200 to 150 San Francisco residents.

Some guaranteed income programs come with spending limitations, but researchers and advocates believe no-strings-attached cash not only improves recipients’ financial health, but gives them peace of mind as well.

The Stanford Guaranteed Income Lab, which tracks 31 pilot programs across the country, found that recipients usually spend most on food and groceries, making up 35% of the funds spent, while spending on retail sales and services are the next priority (31%).

Further, recipients spend about 10% on transportation and about 8% on housing and utilities. Other spending avenues include educational expenses and health care or medical expenses.  Some recipients also spend the money on things that could help them earn more, such as starting a new business, saving for a down payment and more.