April 14, 2022
Karen Lewis, Going Public PR
As Enrollment Closes For Breathe: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program, Additional Resources Are Launching To Help Residents In Need
In the wake of unprecedented public interest in Breathe: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program, LA County announced the availability of extensive resources on the way to support struggling residents, including a wide range of jobs and nutrition programs.
Breathe: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program has drawn tens of thousands of applications, including 95,000 received in a single day. The outpouring of interest demonstrates the need to directly support and invest in residents with meaningful programs that improve lives. As the safety net, the County is launching a series of programs to help stabilize County residents and provide upward mobility in this post-pandemic environment.
“The enrollment phase alone has shown us the high demand for guaranteed income and reinforced the continued need for a multi-pronged approach to ending poverty. In so many instances our society has criminalized poverty. Breathe is helping to shift us away from this and acknowledges that systemic racism and bias has led to far too many people from diverse backgrounds and work experience living below the poverty line,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell.
Among the upcoming programs:
- The County in investing $9 million to train workers from the communities most impacted by COVID-19 for jobs in high growth industries. This program, called High Road Training Partnerships, will launch in May and will provide training and placement opportunities in green infrastructure, entertainment and digital media, technology, healthcare and advanced manufacturing.
- The County is leveraging American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to expand its first-of-a-kind Careers for a Cause program. This program trains individuals, many with lived experience, for one of the 4,000 vacant positions in the County’s homeless services system.
- The County is employing youth ages 16-24 in high-road jobs through its new Youth@Work Elevate program, launching in May. Youth@Work Elevate leverages $5 million in ARPA Funding to provide 400 hours of paid work experience to young residents while exposing them to different career opportunities in high-growth sectors. The County is working directly with employer partners to provide opportunities for young people while also assisting the business community.
In addition, programs focusing on elder nutrition and community food resources are also on the way.
Breathe is believed to be the longest-running program of its kind in the nation. Over the next three years, Los Angeles County will invest $36 million to get $1,000 a month directly into the hands of 1,000 randomly selected Los Angeles County residents who live in communities heavily impacted by the pandemic and meet income thresholds for the program.
The County’s research partner in the program, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research, is now reviewing the data and removing unqualified and duplicate applications. The academic team will also study the long-term impacts the monthly income has on residents’ economic well-being and how to effectively support Los Angeles County residents in the years to come.
Applicants selected will be notified in May 2022.
Breathe was created as the result of a motion co-authored by Supervisor Mitchell and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to provide people-centered solutions to address poverty. The program is overseen by LA County’s Poverty Alleviation Initiative and supported by leading foundations in Los Angeles and the country.
Community based organizations were essential partners in the application process, and more than 50 enrollment centers across the County were available for use by residents without internet access or those who needed additional assistance applying in a welcoming environment. The enrollment centers also helped connect residents to other County resources.
As economic fallout from the pandemic continues, residents are encouraged to visit LA County Recovers – COVID-19 for information and a full list of resources.