A guaranteed income is a monthly, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached and no work requirements. 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, 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 will be additive to the local, regional and national efforts aimed at improving child welfare, reforming childcare systems, supporting affordable housing initiatives, advancing economic empowerment and reducing poverty.
GRIT is still in the planning stage, but at a minimum, it will provide at least 100 families facing poverty a monthly stipend of $500 for 12 months. Participants will be randomly selected from a pool of qualified individuals. Qualified individuals must be Tacoma residents, with a focus on those who are Black, Indigenous and People Of Color; single heads of household; and meet United Way’s ALICE criteria. The application process will be announced in early summer. Funds will be released by late summer.