Guaranteed Income

Applications for Guaranteed Income 3.0 are now closed.

Selected applicants will be contacted and informed of their acceptance by email, phone call, and text by United Way staff. We expect to begin contacting conditionally selected applicants potentially as early as early November 2023.

Providing Guaranteed Income to help hardworking families achieve sustainable financial security and advancement

We are proud to be a part of the nationwide movement offering guaranteed income programs for historically undervalued and under-invested communities. The first of its kind in the Capital Region, our Guaranteed Income program promotes economic security, helps residents remain housed and pays for necessities like food and childcare.

Since June 1, 2021, 100 families in Sacramento County have been receiving $300 of unconditional income every month. This cohort concluded May 2023.

In 2023, the second and third cohorts were launched. The second cohort was in partnership with funding from the City of Sacramento serving 80 City of Sacramento households. Payments of $500/month for 12 months began on July 1, 2023. 

The third and current cohort is thanks to Sacramento County Supervisors Phil Serna (District 1) and Patrick Kennedy, Vice Chair (District 2) awarding an additional $500,000 each ($1 million total) in funding from its American Rescue Plan dollars, in addition to a generous donation from Sierra Health Foundation. This cohort will provide 130 new households with $500 in unconditional guaranteed income every month for one year with payments starting January 2024.

*Real Cost Measure, United Ways of California

Learn How Guaranteed Income is Helping Sacramento City Residents

Guaranteed Income Program Data Brief for Cohort 2

United Way California Capital Region has partnered with Sacramento State University to review and evaluate data from our applicants and participants.

Our most recent report comes from our second cohort partnered with City of Sacramento residents. Click here to view, download & print the data brief.

Data courtesy of Assistant Professor Ethan Evans & Research Team, Division of Social Work, College of Health & Human Services, Sacramento State.

Interested in being a part of the next round of guaranteed income? Eligible participants must qualify in two areas*:
1. Residence Eligible participants must have a residential address within Sacramento County Districts 1 or 2. To determine if you live within these limits, click here and enter your full address (Street name and number, Sacramento, CA, zip code) then click on the magnifying glass icon 🔍︎ in the search bar.

2. Income – Eligible households must earn less annually than the following limits:

  • 1 adult: $28,205 
  • 1 adult, 1 child: $49,945 
  • 1 adult, 2 children: $65,880 
  • 1 adult, 3 children: $79,500 
  • 2 adults: $43,201 
  • 2 adults, 1 child: $64,273 
  • 2 adults, 2 children: $79,500 
  • 2 adults, 3 children: $93,120 
  • Household of 6: $106,740 
  • Household of 7: $120,360 
  • Household of 8: $133,980 
  • For families or households with more than 8 people, add $14,160 for each additional person. 

*If you are selected, you will be asked to provide documentation that shows your current income levels, including public cash benefits and employment income. 

Click below to read Frequently Asked Questions in the language of your choice:

United Way will host information sessions for individual community members and nonprofit partners assisting with applications to ask additional questions. These sessions are not a requirement and are subject to cancellation or rescheduling if interest in sign-ups is low. Staff will contact any individuals that sign up to answer their questions, even if the session is canceled. More details on the schedule for these sessions and how to join will be posted on this page soon. 

We are proud to partner with La Familia Counseling Center and Asian Resources, Inc to provide additional language support for the Guaranteed Income Program. These two local organizations have served our community for many years and have offered significant time & talent to United Way California Capital Region. In support of this specific program, they have stepped up to provide additional support to members of our community who feel most comfortable using languages aside from English. For additional language support, please see below:

La Familia Counseling Center

Call 916-452-3601 for those assistance in Spanish & Hmong.

Asian Resources, Inc. (ARI)

Call ARI HQ @ 916-454-1892 for assistance in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Mien & Tagalog 

Call the ARI Job Center @ 916-324-6202 for assistance in Spanish, Hmong, Samoan 

Call the ARI Citrus Heights Office @ 916-745-4313 for assistance in Pashto, Dari, Russian, Ukrainian & Farsi

We are expecting a large volume of questions or requests for additional information or assistance.

Please email us at [email protected] as this allows us to more effectively track and follow through with these requests. If you would like, you may also call us at (916) 368-3013 but please note that there might be a longer wait time in getting a response when calling the phone number.

We appreciate your patience!

Learn More About Guaranteed Income

Investing in Families is a key part of United Way’s strategy to end poverty in the region. Initiatives like our Guaranteed Income program focus on using United Way’s access to financial capital to redress historical inequities in our region. Rather than mandating social workers, conditional services or specific direction, the program creates an environment where families come together, empower themselves and are trusted to improve their lives in their own way. 

There is no time like the present for direct, unconditional and guaranteed investment in our communities. After more than a year of social isolation, spiking unemployment and financial precarity, uncertainty persists in the form of expiring eviction moratoriums, ending enhanced unemployment insurance and persistent unemployment. Even before the pandemic, a majority of Americans could not afford an unexpected $400 expense in cash.  

The Sacramento median rental apartment costs about double what would be affordable on an individual’s median income. Over the last half decade and through the pandemic, Sacramento has continued to see some of the highest increases in housing cost nationwide. According to a study by the United Ways of California, 29% of Sacramento County households make less than the “Real Cost Measure.” Households in that range spend 2-4 times more of their income on housing than households above the Real Cost Measure. These sustained and growing problems are more than just byproducts of past recessions, but central features of an inequitable economic system.

$300 every month will not end this inequity on its own. It could, however, replace a part time job or gig. It could mean more time with children, with family, and with spouses. It could mean less stress or anxiety. It does provide some measure of certainty and dignity to hardworking families.  

Guaranteed Income has gained significant national attention in the last few years, but organized efforts to address growing economic inequality through guaranteed income have existed at least as far back as the 1960s Civil Rights movements.

During the formation of the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) in 1966, many of the Black women founders, including chairperson Johnnie Tillmoncalled for a guaranteed income.

The NWRO saw that conditional aid (e.g., benefits with work requirements) biased welfare systems against single parents, unemployed and working poor, childless couples and single adults. Similarly, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for a robust guaranteed income to bring all Americans to the median income in his 1967 book “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” These calls, particularly those from the NWRO, were not simply pie-in-the-sky idealism, but rather a specific solution to address the growing gaps in a rapidly expanding welfare system. Often, these gaps were explained away with the demonizing, racist logic of white supremacy and social darwinism. Today, policymakers, public commentators and economic “experts” too often use these logics to deride undervalued communities as deserving of the conditions of poverty and dismiss unconditional aid as a handout that discourages work. These conclusions have always had scant evidence. As guaranteed income demonstrations continue to build evidence that unconditional, direct investments are a key component of building a more equitable and just economic system, it is worth remembering the origin of these ideas as key Civil Rights issues. 

Community-Based Organizations

Are you a Community-Based Organization looking to spread the word about our Guaranteed Income program to the individuals you serve? Click here to access resources you may download & print.