A pilot program to provide guaranteed income to unhoused graduating high school seniors is being introduced in Santa Clara County.
The program will provide $1,200 dollars to 50 graduating high school seniors experiencing homelessness. Currently, the parameters to determine length and eligibility have yet to be established.
According to Mercury News, around 2,500 Santa Clara County students are experiencing homelessness.
The funding for this program comes from the new state budget passed by Governor Newsom on June 27, 2023.
Santa Clara County Board President Susan Ellenberg said the benefit of this program is the “flexibility of the dollars” and how it allows individuals to decide how the money should be spent to meet their needs.
Besides financial support, the pilot program will also include peer mentors to help guide these recent graduates.
Dave Cortese, who represents Santa Clara County in the California State Senate, is also supporting a bill that would provide $1000 a month to unhoused high school seniors across California called Senate Bill 333.
Cortese said many students experiencing homelessness struggle after graduation, a time period where financial aid ends.
Other programs that provide guaranteed income have been successful.
In the city of Stockton, a guaranteed income program that provided $500 a month to residents found residents’ health and financial situations improved with having a guaranteed income.
It is too early to determine how successful the program will be. Though, the hope for this program is that it will guide and support these graduating students as they transition into adulthood.