Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is proud to announce that we will be a partner in Thrive Prince George’s, a two-year, $4 million guaranteed-income pilot that seeks to provide greater economic stability and mobility for families in the region. The program, which is spearheaded by the Greater Washington Community Foundation, Prince George’s County Executive and Council, and the Meyer Foundation, will provide monthly payments of $800 to 50 youth (age 18-24) who are aging out of foster care and 125+ seniors (age 60+) for a 24-month period with no strings attached and no requirements tied to employment.
“Studies have shown that modest guaranteed basic income pilots can decrease poverty by as much as 40%,” said Tonia Wellons, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “We strongly believe that this program will improve the lives of many in Prince George’s County and will reduce the racial wealth gap in a way that makes it viable for the county to consider providing guaranteed basic income for years to come.”
While several pilots are currently operating around the region – including in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, DC, and Montgomery County – this is the first guaranteed income program to exclusively serve residents of Prince George’s County. The $4 million pilot is funded using both public and private philanthropic resources, with participating partners each contributing $1 million to the program.
“This initiative is an innovative example of how we find solutions through public-private partnerships,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “Thanks to this collaborative pilot program, we’re weaving a stronger social fabric and empowering people to pursue their aspirations with dignity and resilience.”
Guaranteed income programs have proven to be one of the most promising approaches to increasing financial stability. The positive impact of guaranteed income has been studied for decades, with evidence indicating that monthly cash payments can reduce income volatility and support recipients in attaining full-time employment, greater housing stability, improved health outcomes, and more.
“I’ve championed the guaranteed basic income program for years because I know it provides an opportunity to tackle poverty and create better quality of life for our residents,” said County Council Member Krystal Oriadha. “My hope is with more jurisdictions moving to implement programs like this, we will see an investment at the state and federal level that will allow these pilots to become permanent.”
The Community Foundation will administer the pilot program as part of its Together, We Prosper Campaign for Economic Justice, which is focused on investing in economic strategies that will increase economic mobility to help close the region’s racial wealth gap. In addition to Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County, it has also partnered with United Communities Against Poverty (UCAP). Our organizations will lead the recruitment, selection, and onboarding of participants, distribute cash payments, and provide optional benefits counseling to ensure existing safety net services are not compromised by participation in this income-boosting pilot.
For more information about Thrive Prince George’s, visit www.thecommunityfoundation.org.