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California’s Homeless Receive $750 Monthly: Spending Patterns Bolster the Case for Universal Basic Income Success

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Under a unique scheme, over 100 homeless people in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area received a $750 monthly stipend for a year without limitations.

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Positive Impact of $750 Monthly Stipend

Miracle Messages and the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s first six months of data illuminate this basic income and social assistance concept. Compared to a control group getting standard homeless aid, those receiving the $750 monthly stipend were less likely to stay homeless and closer to meeting their basic needs.

During the first six months, members spent 36.6% of the stipend on food and nearly 20% on accommodation. Transportation (12.7%), apparel (11.5%), healthcare (6.2%), and miscellaneous (13.6%) were also significant. Contrary to popular assumption, just 2% of funds were spent on drinks, cigarettes, or drugs, predominantly cigarettes.

Ben Henwood, director of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Center for Homelessness, Housing, and Health Equity Research, led the study and claimed the results debunk the idea that people will misuse the money. One recipient paid bills and fixed automobiles, while another spent a lot on food.

READ ALSO: Stock market today: World shares advance after Wall Street ticks higher amid rate-cut hopes

Homelessness Rates Decline with $750 Monthly Stipend, Adding Momentum to Basic Income Advocacy

The proportion of cash recipients who reported homelessness in the past month dropped from 30% at the start of the trial to under 12% at six months. From 28% to 23%, the control group decreased less. A follow-up report will employ a year of data.

This project increases basic income experiment evidence. Similar programs improved housing and jobs in Durham, Denver, and Stockton. The results contribute to the argument over universal basic income’s social benefits.

READ ALSO: $750 a month was given to homeless people in California. What they spent it on is more evidence that universal basic income works.

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