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CA Program Gave Homeless People Free Cash for a Year. Here's How They Spent It.
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By News
Published 4 months ago on
December 21, 2023

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A recent study in California has provided further evidence supporting the effectiveness of universal basic income. The study, conducted by Miracle Messages, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, and the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, gave 100 homeless individuals in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area a monthly stipend of $750 for a year, no strings attached.

The preliminary results from the first six months of the study show that recipients of the stipend were more likely to secure housing and meet their basic needs compared to a control group who accessed standard homeless services. The study also revealed that the majority of the stipend was spent on essential items, with 36.6% going towards food, nearly 20% on housing, 12.7% on transportation, 11.5% on clothing, and 6.2% on healthcare. Only about 2% of the stipend was spent on alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs, debunking the myth that such funds would be misused.

The study’s lead, Ben Henwood, stated that the results empower individuals to focus on their unique needs. The researchers plan to publish a follow-up report based on the full year of data. This study adds to a growing body of research demonstrating the positive impacts of UBI, with similar experiments in Durham, Denver, and Stockton yielding comparable results.

Read more at Business Insider.

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