California Launches First State-Funded Guaranteed Income Pilot Projects For Former Foster Youth

Two state-funded Guaranteed Income Pilot Programs to serve former foster youth have launched today as part of the “California Guaranteed Income Pilot Program”. 

The state has awarded the City and County of San Francisco $3,439,090 to provide 150 former foster youth with $1,200 per month for 18 months. Ventura County Human Services Agency has received $1,538,758 to offer 150 former foster youth $1,000 per month for the same duration.

State Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), who championed funding for the “California Guaranteed Income Pilot Program”, made the following statement today: “I have personally witnessed the life-changing impact of guaranteed income through programs we launched right here in Santa Clara County - the power to break cycles of poverty, provide economic stability, and to, ultimately, change lives. These programs are a promise to our youth. A promise to hear them, uplift them, and help them build their future.”

Senator Cortese authored SB 739 (2021), The Universal Basic Income for Transition Age Foster Youth Act as well as SB 1341 & SB 333 (2022 & 2023) to launch the California Success, Opportunity, and Academic Resilience (CalSOAR) Guaranteed Income Program to provide direct cash assistance payments of $1,000 monthly to the approximately 15,000 homeless students in California during their transition out of high school. SB 739 was incorporated into the 2021-22 budget through the state’s first-of-its-kind investment of $35,000,000 in the “California Guaranteed Income Pilot Program”.

In 2020, Senator Cortese led the creation of Santa Clara County’s first-in-the-nation universal basic income program to serve transition age foster youth. This year, Senator Cortese secured $3 million in state funding to launch a local “CalSOAR” pilot program modeled after SB 333 to serve unhoused high school students in Santa Clara County.

Senator Cortese is available for comments and interviews.

Senator Dave Cortese represents Senate District 15, which encompasses San Jose and much of Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley.