“ [GRIT] changed my house for the better. And I’ve felt so much less month-to-month stress since this program started. It feels like I have some room to breathe.” - GRIT recipient
A guaranteed income is a monthly, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached. A guaranteed income is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net.
Tacoma’s guaranteed income demonstration, called GRIT (Growing Resilience In Tacoma), is the natural evolution of work already being undertaken in our community to dismantle poverty.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, roughly 40% of Tacoma households were struggling to make ends meet. We call these families ALICE because they are Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed. The pandemic only worsened these percentages, with many more families facing unemployment, possible eviction and hunger.
GRIT is a collaborative effort between the City of Tacoma, United Way of Pierce County, and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income designed to prove the efficacy of unrestricted cash in improving economic stability, housing security, mental and emotional wellbeing, lessening the racial and gender income gap, and reducing poverty in our community.
GRIT is a 12-month randomized control trial (RCT) being run by the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR). In the RCT there are 110 Tacoma families that receive $500 each month and participate in optional, compensated surveys and qualitative interviews every 6 months. As a comparison group to the 110, there are 132 Tacoma families who are demographically similar to the 110, however, do not receive the $500 each month but are invited to participate in the surveys and interviews.
The 110 families receiving the 12 month guaranteed income were randomly selected from a pool of qualified applicants. Qualified individuals are:
·City of Tacoma Residents currently residing in Eastside (98404), Hilltop (98405), South Tacoma (98409) or the South End (98408)
·Single income households with children living in the home up to age 17, children with disabilities up to age 21.
·Meet the ALICE definition: Asset Limited, Income Constrained while Employed. ALICE households income is between 100% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
UPDATE: GRIT is underway. The first investment in was made to 110 Tacoma families on December 15, 2021. These 110 families will receive $500 on the 15th of every month through November 2022.
Our independent evaluation team is hosting surveys and interviews in every 6 months with all GRIT participants. Click here for more information on our research.