A creative joint project program between the City of Evanston and Northwestern University investigating the implications of guaranteed income is currently underway during the holidays.
For a year, 150 people will receive a $500 as a monthly stipend from the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program to use as they see fit. The pilot program has received funding from Northwestern totaling $400,000, as well as additional contributions from the American Rescue Plan, the City of Evanston, and the Evanston Community Foundation according to an article posted by Northwestern Now last December 06, 2022.
Three demographic groups were targeted by the project: adults between the ages of 18 and 24, seniors over the age of 62, and undocumented residents with current incomes that are below the federal poverty line.
Former 9th Ward alderwoman and early supporter of the project Cicely Fleming thinks the program is significant for both what it does and what it does not.
Participants in the program will be able to use the stipend to pay for things they don’t have the money for. For instance, a person might be eligible for childcare assistance but not be able to afford a medical co-pay.
Additionally, this program won’t affect the majority of other government benefits due to the fact that Illinois Law does not consider payments from such programs to be income.