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Denver set to give 140 homeless people up to $12,000 in cash as part of ‘basic income’ program

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More than 140 people experiencing homelessness in Denver will each be provided up to $1,000 in cash a month for up to one year as part of a basic income program designed to help “lift individuals out of homelessness,” the city announced last week.

The $2 million contract with the Denver Basic Income Project was approved by the City Council and will provide direct cash assistance to more than 140 women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and families in shelters.

“Just as important as housing and shelter is a regular source of income for those experiencing homelessness,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “This direct cash assistance will help more than 140 women and families currently in shelters move into stable housing, and provide support, so they can stay housed while opening space in our shelters to serve more people.”

The $2 million was allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act, according to the city, and the contract provides up to $1,000 a month for a year to eligible people currently using the shelter system.

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The Denver Basic Income Project is an organization that provides direct cash payments to 820 people and families experiencing homelessness.

The program will be evaluated by University of Denver’s Center for Housing and Homelessness Research using a randomized control trial, which will measure housing outcomes, utilization of shelter and other homeless services, improvements in psychological health and substance use for those who opt in.

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