Guaranteed Income Program

The application for our second cohort of the Guaranteed Income Program is closed.

Please continue to check this page, or follow us on social media to stay informed about future opportunities to to apply for the United Way Guaranteed Income Program.

Nearly one in three California households—over 3.5 million families (33%)—do not earn sufficient income to meet basic needs.*

We are proud to be a part of the nationwide movement offering guaranteed income programs for historically undervalued and under-invested communities. Across the country these programs have been shown to boost hardworking individuals and families towards achieving sustainable financial security and advancement along with improving overall health and wellbeing.

Families know what they need to thrive.

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. 

Starting July 1, 2023, another round of guaranteed income will begin in partnership with funding from the City of Sacramento. Households selected for this next phase will receive $500 guaranteed income for exactly one year. 

*Real Cost Measure, United Ways of California

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 the City of Sacramento limits. To determine if you live within City of Sacramento limits, click here and enter your full address (Street name and number, Sacramento, CA, zip code). 

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 households of 8+: add $14,160 for each additional person

Click on the links below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions in the following languages:

Click on the links below for short informational videos on the Guaranteed Income program:

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. 

The first cohort of the program is guaranteed income for 100 Sacramento County households to receive $300/month for two years. United Way California Capital Region partnered with UpTogether to make this possible, but many other organizations and individuals helped make the program a reality. 

United Way contacted many other nonprofits, community-based organizations, and public agencies to spread the word. After a series of online, public information sessions, our partner organizations encouraged applications from Sacramento residents making up to 150% of the California Poverty Measure for their household size.  

UpTogether received hundreds of applications in the two-week open enrollment period. After verifying eligibility, UpTogether selected 100 qualifying applications through a randomized lottery to receive funds. 

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

Do you work at a Community-Based Organization (CBO) that serves individuals who may be eligible for our Guaranteed Income Program? Click here for resources we have made available for your use in spreading the word.