Yesterday, San Francisco formally introduced a guaranteed income initiative for the transgender population.

Paying Poor People, But Only if They’re Transgender


Guaranteed Income for Trans People (or GIFT) will offer $1,200 per month to 55 qualifying individuals for up to 18 months to aid in alleviating financial instability, according to the mayor’s office.

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As a component of their city’s improving economy and their goal to establish a more equitable city for all, their Guaranteed Income Programs enable them to assist their residents when they require it most, as stated by Mayor London Breed in a release.

She said they are aware that trans communities endure significantly greater levels of poverty and prejudice, therefore the program will provide targeted assistance to individuals in this group.

They will continue to expand initiatives like these in order to offer people in most need with the financial services and support they require to flourish.

In addition to receiving gender-affirming medical and psychological care, the selected individuals will also gain additional counseling.

The city has reserved $2 million for the initiative, according to Parisa Safarzadeh, a spokesman for the mayor.

Why it is crucial: Based on a 2015 survey, a greater proportion of trans-Californians face poverty than the state’s overall population (13% vs. 12%).

During the epidemic, local transgender organizations realized that direct payments might be a useful option for persons who lost their jobs abruptly.

Mayor London Breed stated in a release that they know that trans communities endure significantly greater rates of poverty and prejudice, so this initiative will provide targeted assistance to raise persons in this group up.

Notably, GIFT is the third secure income initiative in San Francisco.

As part of its Abundant Birth Project, the city has offered financial assistance to 135 mothers throughout and after childbirth since 2020.

Since its inception a year ago, its Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists has provided monthly payments of $1,000 to 190 area singers, writers, visual artists, and others.
In recent years, cities around the country, from Denver to Des Moines, have been experimenting with guaranteed income programs as a way to assist low-income individuals in escaping poverty.

Earlier last year, Palm Springs adopted a similar initiative for its transgender inhabitants. However, it is too soon to assess the outcomes of these initiatives.

Similar Previous Initiatives Failed (Badly)

Jennifer Kingson of Axios stated that a two-year program in Finland that ended in December 2018 and provided monthly payments to 2,000 unemployed persons was deemed a failure because so many stayed unemployed at its completion.
Proposition K, which was finally removed from this November’s vote because its designers failed to anticipate the potential financial effect on small business owners, was supposed to give the city millions of dollars to support secure income initiatives.

In the meantime, the city announced that there will be two additional secure income projects for young individuals next year.