Nearly 12% of Americans, or 38 million people, live in poverty and were highly dependent on stimulus checks from the government to meet their basic needs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These payments helped them buy food, clothes, and access healthcare.
When the stimulus payments stopped and the expanded Child Tax Credit ended, these individuals were greatly impacted. Given that such a large portion of the population struggles financially, it is not surprising that more cities are implementing guaranteed income programs to provide assistance.
Guaranteed income is a program that provides regular financial assistance to low-income families with minimal bureaucracy, as stated in an article published by Shriver Center on Poverty Law on April 13, 2022. For example, a parent working 40 hours per week at minimum wage in Tennessee, where the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, would earn a gross income of $290 per week.
After taxes, they would bring home around $250 per week. However, the average cost of daycare in Tennessee is $167 per week, leaving that parent with just $83 per week for other expenses.
Over 48 cities in the US have implemented guaranteed income programs since 2020 to support households like these, based on an article published by The Motley Fool on January 3, 2023. Some of the cities with these programs include Los Angeles, Oakland, Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, New Orleans, Chelsea, Minneapolis, Jackson, New York, Durham, Philadelphia, and Columbia.