Santa Clara County families to receive $1,000 monthly in guaranteed income program

Some families in Santa Clara County will be the latest in the Bay Area to receive money in a guaranteed program. The pilot program will offer $1,000 over the next two years starting this December.  

This project is one of few that will focus specifically on families experiencing homelessness. Advocates say giving families this money grants them the ability to use the money for what they need the most.  

With rent prices continuing to soar and inflation impacting everyone’s bottom line, more cities and counties in the Bay Area are starting guaranteed income programs for the most vulnerable people in their communities.  

"At the end of the day, we want to make sure that families in Santa Clara County are not homeless; have the resources they need to meet their needs. We’re not contributing to generational poverty or seeing more people fall into homelessness," said Chad Bojorquez with Destination Home.  

The Silicon Valley Guaranteed Income Pilot Program says it’ll focus on people of color, undocumented and mixed-status families, and women-led households. 150 families will receive $1,000 a month for two years, no strings attached.

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Data shows the average rent in Silicon Valley is $2850 and families need to make over $54 an hour to afford that amount. 

The program will be led by Destination Home ¡Si Se Puede! Collective and other agencies, including officials with Santa Clara County. 

"It might represent from 30% to 50% of their income just to pay the rent. So, this month, do I pay the rent, or do I feed my children? These are the kinds of questions that they talk about that they face every month," said Gabriel Hernandez, with the program.

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Co-author of the Silicon Valley Pain Index Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton says there is proof behind guaranteed income programs.

"It allows for folks who are just scraping by in that bottom 20% to have some of the basics, that we say is a part of this American life and culture," Dr. Myers-Lipton said.  

The project is supported by private funders, including, the Packard Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Sobrato Philanthropies. 

UCSF will also conduct a study to show how the added income impacts the families over the next two years.