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El Monte launching guaranteed income program for single mothers

The city of El Monte is moving forward with a guaranteed income pilot program for single mothers.

The program will provide $500 a month to 125 participants. On Tuesday, the El Monte City Council approved a contract with the RAND Corporation to manage the program.

Only single mothers with children under 18 are eligible to apply. They also must be below the poverty line and must have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It's unclear when the program will begin accepting applications.

Funding for the program is coming from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress about one year ago.

"This is one of the most direct ways that we can deploy ARPA funds to the most vulnerable residents in our El Monte community", City Manager Alma Martinez said. "We are proud to partner with RAND, one of the most respected research organizations who will administer and evaluate the pilot program."

Guaranteed income programs have become more prevalent. Last October, the city of L.A. launched Big:Leap, the biggest guaranteed income pilot program in the nation. It is providing $1,000 in cash to 3,200 households.

Last July, the city of Long Beach launched a program to give 500 low-income residents $500 a month for a year. All the participants will be single-parent households, mostly single mothers, who earn under the poverty line.

That same month, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors also approved a guaranteed income pilot program for young people ages 18 to 24.

In October of 2020, Compton announced it was launching a universal basic income program to distribute cash payments to 800 low-income residents over a period of two years.

Also last summer, in a rare bipartisan move, California lawmakers approved state-funded cash payments for young adults leaving foster care and for expectant mothers, with no restrictions on how the money is spent.

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