San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on Wednesday that the city would launch a new 18-month guaranteed income program for low-income transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and intersex residents in the city.
The program, known as Guaranteed Income for Transgender People (G.I.F.T.), provides “economically marginalized transgender people with unrestricted, monthly guaranteed income as a way to combat poverty,” the program’s online portal says.
Transgender “BIPOC” applicants for the program will be prioritized above non-minority trans individuals, the program’s website adds.
In total, 55 transgender residents will be selected to participate in the program and will receive $1,200 every month for up to 18 months.
“We know that our trans communities experience much higher rates of poverty and discrimination,” Breed said in a statement, “so this program will target support to lift individuals in this community up.”
San Francisco’s other guaranteed income programs include the Abundant Birth Project, which subsidizes black and Pacific Islander mothers during pregnancy, and a pandemic-era cash relief program for local artists. Palm Springs, Calif., in March announced a similar program for transgender residents.
Pau Crego, executive director of the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives, said in a statement, “Even with our rich history of trans advocacy, we see that trans San Franciscans experience poverty at exponentially higher rates compared to the general population.”
The program, which was first announced in July 2021, is accepting applications between November 15 and December 15.
In announcing the program last year, Breed said: “We heard from the [trans] community that this program was something that could offer real, needed support, and it’s one of a number of significant investments that we’re making in this budget to ensure that our trans community has the resources and the targeted programs that will help them thrive in San Francisco.”
The pilot program’s launch comes two years after the city started the Abundant Birth Project, offering a $1,000 per month basic income for Black and Pacific Islander mothers and pregnant women during and after pregnancy.
Transgender communities, experience poverty and economic instability at disproportionate rates according to the city.
“The US Transgender Survey, which is the only largescale study of trans people in the United States, in 2015 found that 33% of trans people in California were living in poverty,” said Pau Crego.
That percentage is compared to 12% of people in the general population that were living in poverty.
In 2021, San Francisco launched a pilot program to offer cash relief to local artists who were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists, in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, currently provides 190 artists who live and work in San Francisco monthly payments of $1,000 for up to 18 months.
This program is available to San Francisco artists engaged with the community through music, dance, creative writing, visual art, performance art, installation, photography, theater, or film. Teaching artists, arts educators and culturally-based craft workers and makers are also encouraged to apply.
People interested in applying for San Francisco’s Guaranteed Income Program for Trans People can apply online at GiftIncome.org, by phone 415-213-1717 or in person at 1735 Mission St. in San Francisco during business hours.
In 2023, the city will launch two additional guaranteed income programs geared towards youth.
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