SAN DIEGO (December 3, 2021) – Announced today, the State of California will appropriate $1.4 million of its annual budget to San Diego for Every Child – a nonprofit coalition housed under Jewish Family Service of San Diego – to support San Diego’s first Guaranteed Income Project.
California Senators Toni Atkins (District 39) and Ben Hueso (District 40) played critical roles in securing the funds, which will be used to help launch the project. Additional funding for the program is being secured through institutional fundraising and private philanthropy.
“This year’s state budget is one of the most equitable and transformative budgets in California’s history. It allows for bold, once-in-a-generation investments,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. “I was honored to join my colleague Senator Ben Hueso in supporting a $1.4 million allocation to Jewish Family Service of San Diego for a Universal Basic Income pilot program. This initiative is designed to lift up our region’s families and combat childhood poverty. Additionally, the state is poised to invest another $35 million in state funding across California to support guaranteed income programs which are vital in providing a safety net for struggling families while spurring economic recovery. The pandemic exacerbated financial struggles, putting extraordinary pressure on hardworking families. This funding provides an immediate opportunity for economic and social justice and brings us one step closer to ending the cycle of poverty and making California a more equitable place for all.”
“It's time to end the narrative that people experiencing poverty simply need to work harder or make better choices,” said Sen. Ben Hueso. “Income inequality is at its highest rate since right before the Great Depression and is, at least in part, a result of policies and laws in this country that perpetuate poverty and racial inequity. Guaranteed income programs like San Diego for Every Child’s can dramatically improve families’ well-being and are an important step to help address some of the economic and social challenges we currently face in this country.”
Driven by the continued devastation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportional impact on children and families of color, the Guaranteed Income Program seeks to empower these communities and drive change in the complicated and often-difficult-to-navigate social benefits system.
San Diego for Every Child’s program will select 150 families of color with at least one child under the age of 12 living in San Diego and National City – specifically zip codes 92114 (Encanto), 92139 (Paradise Hills), 91950 (National City), and 92173 (San Ysidro) – to receive $500 cash payments for 24 months that can be spent on needs such as food, repairing a car to get to work, medicine to treat a loved one or rent.
“Social justice starts with economic equity,” said Khea Pollard, director of San Diego for Every Child. “Our Guaranteed Income Project is designed to support families who were not only hit hardest by COVID-19, but who were struggling to make ends meet before. Similar programs throughout the state have proven that direct, unconditional cash programs lead to greater success for participants, alleviating cumbersome processes and in turn, enriching their personal and professional lives.”
The program has also received commitments of support from Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis.
"As we witnessed throughout the pandemic, unconditional cash payments help keep families financially secure and stimulate the local economy, even in times of crisis or recession,” said National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis. “I fully support this effort to bring guaranteed income to National City and help ensure no one in our region falls through the cracks.”
San Diego for Every Child’s eligibility survey for participation in the Guaranteed Income Project is now open through Monday, December 6. The survey is available in English, Spanish, Somali, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic. Participants will be selected and contacted in January 2022.
To learn more or apply, visit sandiegoforeverychild.org.
About San Diego for Every Child
San Diego for Every Child is a coalition dedicated to cutting the experience of childhood poverty by 50% by 2030. Our mission is to create a San Diego County where every child has their basic needs met by ensuring all children in our region have nutritious food to eat, live in stable housing, receive adequate healthcare, and have access to quality childcare and education. For more information, visit sandiegoforeverychild.org. Updates can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
San Diego for Every Child is a nonprofit initiative housed under the 501(c)3 of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, one of San Diego’s oldest and most impactful nonprofit agencies.