Information on the research GRIT will be doing

The GRIT team, United Way, and the Tacoma Mayor's office is excited to be able to offer $660,000 of direct cash support to our community. We also are excited to be able to test the efficacy of a guaranteed income in addressing the needs of our city. In order to test this, we have partnered with the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR). 

CGIR will be hosting surveys and interviews with our treatment and control groups every six months (including the six months after the last disbursement is released) in order to identify changes in the following core issues: 

  • Physical functioning, 
  • Mental health, 
  • Income volatility, 
  • Spending, 
  • Consumption, 
  • Employment, 
  • Education, 
  • Family dynamics and parenting, 
  • Stress and coping, 
  • Hope and mattering, 
  • Household food security, 
  • COVID-19 variables, 
  • Housing, and
  • Childcare 

Click here to read our learning agenda ( 

GRIT will release data on spending behavior quarterly and its final report in 2024. To see follow along, sign up for our newsletter (


What is the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)? 



Number of People in Household 


200% FPL 









100% FPL 










Information about the GRIT application and selection process

Around 2,000 applications were submitted for participation in GRIT, Tacoma’s one-year guaranteed income demonstration undertaken by the City of Tacoma and United Way of Pierce County to test the impact of providing cash support for community members on the edge of poverty.

The applications were processed by independent researchers at the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania to make sure there are no duplications and that all entries meet the GRIT eligibility criteria. Applicants were chosen randomly based on meeting all eligibility parameters:

  • City of Tacoma residents currently residing in Eastside (98404), Hilltop (98405), South Tacoma (98409) and 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 household income is 100-200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

All other responses on the application beyond the eligibility questions will be used for social research purposes only, and not to disqualify an applicant. 

Three hundred seventy five applications met the eligibility criteria to participate in the demonstration and were randomly sorted by the researchers into groups:

  • Recipient participants: 110 participants randomly selected to get $500 per month for 12 months directly deposited into a personal account. This group will be eligible to participate in surveys and interviews to help us understand how guaranteed income works. This group will be paid $30 on a gift card for each survey they complete.
  • Control participants: 132 randomly-selected people who do not receive the monthly $500 stipend, but who will be eligible to earn gift cards by completing research surveys during the pilot so we can learn more about Tacoma and our residents’ needs. This group will be paid $30 on a gift card for each survey they complete.
  • Non-participants. 

The independence of the selection process and its protocols ensure that the process is free of bias.

Participation in this program will be kept private and confidential. Only employees of GRIT and the University of Pennsylvania research team will know the names of participants. 

Once the initial month of funds are distributed, the GRIT research fellow will invite control participants to participate in surveys and interviews over the course of the 12-month demonstration.

The information shared through the application will only be used for research purposes, and GRIT, United Way and the City of Tacoma staff will not have access to data for non-selected individuals. This means that we don’t have the ability to notify people who have not been chosen to participate. Applicants can check back to this page or sign up for the GRIT newsletter to stay up to date on the notification process.

Recipients of the guaranteed income have been selected. To stay up to date on the progress of GRIT, check back to this page or sign up for the GRIT newsletter.

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