A major cause of homelessness for many is the loss of income. Could a way out be providing the unhoused with monthly basic income? A USC study shows promising results.
“People that were living unsheltered in their car, they were able to spend the money on gas repairs,” said Ben Henwood, a professor at USC’s Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, who studies housing and homelessness and conducted the study. “Another individual who wasn’t in a shelter, now he purchased a bike and does Doordash for employment. It’s a lot of different ways. There’s some people who had a Section 8 voucher, but they couldn’t use it because they couldn’t get to appointments to see apartments.”
Looking at 69 of the participants in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area who received $750 a month over six months, none of them were able to exit homelessness. But 30% started the program living on the street; after six months, that number is down to 12%.
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