By Associated Press - Thursday, April 29, 2021

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A guaranteed income pilot program will launch in Tacoma this summer.

The pilot, called Growing Resilience in Tacoma, or GRIT, plans to serve at least 100 people chosen at random who will receive $500 a month for than 12 months, The News Tribune reported.

Guaranteed income is a monthly cash payment given directly to people, with no strings attached. The program will recruit people in June and July with an application process. Participants are randomly selected by the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards announced the launch of the pilot Thursday.

“We talk a lot about equity and the importance of supporting those who needed the most. And in my opinion, this is one way to not just talk the talk but walk the walk,” she said.

The pilot will focus on people of color and single heads of households. Participants must be qualified Tacoma residents. The pilot will also focus on people whose household budget is below $52,000 per year, which is about 20% less than the median household income.

The program is funded solely through private donations, Woodards said. The pilot will track how people use the money.

Woodards is a founding member of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, launched in 2020 by Michael Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockton, California.

In December, Woodards announced Tacoma was one of more than 25 cities across the country to benefit from a $15 million donation made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to the organization.

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