Basic Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Launches in Prince George’s County

Today, we were Prince George’s Proud to join the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Meyer Foundation, the Department of Social Services, and our County Council to announce the historic launch of Thrive Prince George’s, a two-year, $4 million guaranteed-income pilot program aimed at fostering economic stability and mobility for families in our community.

An Innovative Public-Private Partnership

The funding for Thrive Prince George’s comes from a combination of public and private philanthropic resources. My administration contributed $1 million towards the initiative, and we provided this funding without compromising our budget, because this program will be carried out by local non-profit organizations. That money, together with the other partners each contributing $1 million, created a budget of $4 million to make the pilot program a reality.  

READ PRESS RELEASE: Prince George’s County Launches its First-Ever Guaranteed Income Program

Why A Guaranteed Basic Income Program?

A Guaranteed Basic Income program is a proven way to help lift people up and change lives for the better. These unconditional cash payments help vulnerable residents rise from the cycle of poverty. Struggling financially is often much more expensive than having stable finances, and for our residents who are struggling to meet basic needs, this program will help stabilize their finances and have a tremendous, positive impact on their quality of life.

The nation’s first mayor-led guaranteed income program was the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, known as SEED, which began in 2019 and gave 125 residents of Stockton, California $500 per month. The findings of the program were remarkable, with residents who received the income seeing their income-volatility drop, helping them plan for and cover expenses without surprises. Recipients’ health improved, their anxiety dropped, and their well-being increased. Overall, the program created new opportunities, allowing residents to make choices about what they would do, setting goals that allowed for greater freedom.  

We recognize that by giving funds to our low-income residents, we afford them the opportunity to choose what they want to do with their time, to find more stable jobs, to gain new skills, and to spend more time with their families. In short, guaranteed income programs are about giving everyone in our community the chance to dream.  

Study after study confirms that these programs work. Across the country, these guaranteed income programs, also called universal basic income, help people thrive. Guaranteed income can enable a person to pay down debt, move into permanent housing, further their education to secure a better job, or spend valuable time with family. With a guaranteed, steady stream of income, pursuing new opportunities is much, much easier.

Who Is Eligible and How It Works

We are using these funds to help two particularly vulnerable groups of Prince Georgians, our seniors on fixed incomes and economically vulnerable youth. Specifically, Thrive Prince George's will provide a monthly stipend of $800 for 24 months to 50 youths (ages 18-24) who have aged out of the foster care system and 125+ seniors (ages 60+) with no strings attached and no employment-related requirements.

The Greater Washington Community Foundation, as part of its Together, We Prosper Campaign for Economic Justice, will administer the pilot program. As the pilot progresses, the Community Foundation plans to measure the economic status of participants over time, employing a comprehensive evaluation program that balances quantitative and qualitative measures.  

This is yet another investment in equity. It is our hope that this program will lift Prince Georgians out of poverty, setting up some of our most vulnerable residents for success now, and for years to come—even after the program ends. Thanks to this collaborative effort, we are weaving a stronger social fabric and empowering people to pursue their aspirations with dignity and resilience. We encourage residents to stay tuned for more information on eligibility requirements, how to apply, and more.   

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