Denver’s universal basic income project reports early success


A midterm report from the Denver Basic Income Project found giving people experiencing homelessness free money is a meaningful way to improve their lives.

Driving the news: The report released Wednesday found people receiving money with no strings attached are benefiting significantly by using it to pay for groceries and other bills.

  • Others are using it for expenses like obtaining housing, rent, cars and paying significant debt.

Why it matters: The program’s success so far could mean it continues after its initial one-year period.

What they’re saying: “What we can conclude from the midyear report is how much hope this has provided to the unhoused community,” Andre Cunningham, co-chair of the DBIP’s advisory board, tells us.

Context: The 846 participants — who include both sheltered and unsheltered people — are broken up into three groups. One group gets $1,000 for 12 months, another gets $6,500 for the first month and will get $500 for the remaining 11, and the final gets $50 for a year.

  • While people who received $50 a month reported feeling frustrated, many still said it was helpful to have the extra cash.

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