SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Mayor London Breed announced the launch of a new guaranteed income program for San Francisco’s trans community. The Guaranteed Income for Trans People program will provide low-income transgender San Franciscans with $1,200 each month, for up to 18 months, to help address financial insecurity within trans communities, Breed revealed Wednesday.
The pilot program is the first guaranteed income initiative to focus solely on trans people, and will provide regular, unconditional cash transfers to individuals or households who qualify, according to the Mayor’s Office. This differs from other social safety net practices by providing a steady, predictable stream of cash to recipients to spend as they see fit without limitations.
The GIFT program will provide eligible trans individuals with temporary income and a range of wrap-around direct services, such as gender affirming medical and mental health care, as well as financial coaching, according to the Mayor’s Office.
The city will accept applications from November 15 through December 15.
“Our Guaranteed Income Programs allow us to help our residents when they need it most as part of our city’s economic recovery and our commitment to creating a more just city for all,” Breed said. “We know that our trans communities experience much higher rates of poverty and discrimination, so this program will target support to lift individuals in this community up.”
GIFT is one of several programs the city is developing and implementing to support San Francisco residents and promote economic stability and recovery.
In 2015, when the U.S. Trans Survey was last conducted, 33% of trans Californians were living in poverty, compared to 12% of people in the general population.
“Even with our rich history of trans advocacy, we see that trans San Franciscans experience poverty at exponentially higher rates compared to the general population,” said Pau Crego, Executive Director of the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives.
Lyon-Martin Community Health Services and The Transgender District are leading the program’s design and implementation, with support from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the Office of Transgender Initiatives, and the Treasurer & Tax Collector.
“While healthcare often focuses on the downstream effects of marginalization, we know that changing the material realities of trans communities can significantly impact their health for the better – indeed, for trans people, it is a life-or-death situation,” said JM Jaffe, executive director of Lyon-Martin Community Health Services.
The GIFT program is San Francisco’s third guaranteed income program. It follows the Abundant Birth Project and the Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists.
The Abundant Birth Project
In 2020, the City launched the Abundant Birth Project, which offers basic income for Black and Pacific Islander mothers and pregnant people during and after pregnancy. The Abundant Birth Project is a simple approach to achieving better maternal health and birthing outcomes by providing pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women a monthly income supplement for the duration of their pregnancy and during the postpartum period as an economic and reproductive health intervention.
Each year, qualifying pregnant parents in San Francisco who are Black or Pacific Islanders receive $1,000 monthly payments as part of the Abundant Birth Project. Their payments apply for their first trimester until two years post-partum.
To date, San Francisco has supported 135 birthing parents with monthly payments; the goal is to enroll 150 by the end of the year.
The Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists
In 2021, San Francisco launched a pilot program to offer cash relief to local artists who were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists, in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, currently provides 190 artists who live and work in San Francisco monthly payments of $1,000 for up to 18 months.
This program is available to San Francisco artists engaged with the community through music, dance, creative writing, visual art, performance art, installation, photography, theater, or film. Teaching artists, arts educators, and culturally-based craft workers and makers are also encouraged to apply.
People interested in applying for San Francisco’s Guaranteed Income Program for Trans People can apply online at GiftIncome.org.
In 2023, the city will launch two additional guaranteed income programs geared towards youth.