What happens when newly-arrived refugees get a year-long guaranteed income?
An International Institute of Minnesota pilot project is aimed at getting an answer. Intended as a bridge to a stable life in their new home, the program will direct $750 a month for 12 months to 25 families. The project goal, organizers say, “is to demonstrate the impact of a guaranteed income on newly arrived refugees and local economies, and to make known that refugees provide immense cultural, social and economic contributions to Minnesota.”
The money comes with no work requirements or other strings attached. Participants can spend the money as they wish.
Enrolled families had to meet one of these guidelines:
- Single-parent households with children under the age of 15
- Families with four or more children, with one working parent and one parent with obstacles to employment
- Single adults with physical or mental illness limiting their ability to work or obtain employment
- Families or single adults unable to work due to delays in paperwork processing or other barriers beyond their control.