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The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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A form of Universal Basic Income arrives in Fresno

This+graphic+was+created+by+Camille+Amezcua.
Camille Amezcua/The Collegian
This graphic was created by Camille Amezcua.

A forum of Universal Basic Income (UBI) has come to Fresno County this month.

The program began on March 15, allowing eligible individuals and families to apply for $500 monthly for 12 months.

Last month, the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (FEOC) announced that the first guaranteed income program is coming to parts of Fresno County.

The program is being started in only two county zip codes: 93706 in southwest Fresno and 93234 in Huron.

The criteria to be eligible for the guaranteed income is:

  • 18 years old and older.
  • Be pregnant or have at least one child five years of age or younger;
  • And, have an income of 80% or less than the median household income.

For Huron residents, this would be $35,103 or less, and $30,615 or less for southwest Fresno residents.

The program is aimed to help lift families and individuals out of poverty and provide more financial ease.

Recent data shows 51.3% of children in the 93706 zip code, and 55.3% of children in the 93234 zip code live below the poverty level. Both zip codes are approximately double the Fresno County average of 27.2%.

“Economic security and dignity are essential to wellness, and guaranteed income programs protect people and families from financial distress by ensuring they have funds to put toward what they know they need,” California Wellness Foundation CEO Richard Tate said in a press release. “We look forward to learning from Fresno and other communities how these programs link to improved health and wellness.”

Applications for the program opened on March 15 and will close on May 15.

Once the application period is over, evaluators will begin using a lottery system to choose 75 households from each zip code, equating to 150 in total that will receive the funds.

More information about the program can be found here.

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