A US-based project aimed at identifying how free government cash handouts can help citizens has officially launched.
The Denver Basic Income Project is handing out a total of $1.8 million to hundreds of people who are struggling with their finances.
More than 800 people in three separate groups will receive cash as part of the program.
The first group will receive $1,000 for a year, the second group will receive an initial $6,500 and an additional $500 for 11 subsequent months, and the final group will receive a flat $50 for a year.
The Denver City Council approved and paid for the project, which is run by the Denver Basic Income Project (DBIP).
It’s designed to see how people who are struggling with homelessness can benefit from programs that provide cash with no strings attached.
According to a new update, many of the early participants say the project has lifted a weight off of their shoulders.
“Almost all participants noted feelings of relief, decreased stress, and increased hopefulness when asked about the impact of DBIP on their daily lives.
A Group C participant explained the impact of the cash transfer on their daily life by saying, ‘I’m not as stressed, because I know I’m going to get that monthly deposit, so I know I have something to look forward to if I’m in need.’”
According to the report, participants are using the money for basic needs, although they are allowed to spend the money on whatever they want.
“Even though the DBIP cash transfer was marketed as ‘no strings attached,’ participants chose to use it to
1) prioritize meeting their immediate basic needs (transportation, hygiene, groceries, and clothes)
2) cover or catch up on regular bills and expenses (rent, debt, healthcare, and car repair), and
3) make bigger changes (changing housing, purchasing a car).”
A final report on the basic income project will be released in October.
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