The Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, is proposing that the city introduce the first universal basic income program for transgender people as part of their budget for the next two fiscal years. Up to 150 attendees would receive $ 1,000 per month as part of the guaranteed income pilot for up to a year.
The program would cost $ 2 million over two years and be carried out in collaboration with the office of gay treasurer and tax collector José Cisneros. The selection of a community organization to coordinate with the city’s various transgender groups in recruiting and selecting applicants for the program will be the Mayor’s Office for Housing and Community Development under the direction of Gay Director Eric. D. Shaw.
“We will build on our guaranteed income pilot by adding a new program to pay members of our transgender community,” said Breed, who announced the program on June 1 to coincide with the start of Pride Month.
It is just one of the myriad LGBTQ-oriented programs included in their Budget Balanced Proposal for the budget years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. The mayor released her budget on Tuesday June 1st at a ceremony at the newly renovated Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground in the city’s Chinatown.
Another new program that Breed is targeting for $ 900,000 in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, is to launch an LGBTQ senior telemental health program and expand senior digital access services. It is expected to provide services for up to 500 LGBTQ seniors while providing mental health resources for those who have become increasingly isolated, depressed, and anxious due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clair Farley, a transgender woman who is mayor and executive director of the city’s transgender initiatives office, told the Bay Area reporter that the idea for the universal basic income program came from her office’s transgender advisory board. The city hopes to start the program this October.
“We have been working over the past year to develop visions of how we can create more stability in the community, especially in the face of the aftermath of the pandemic, and how we can build a stronger safety net and foundation for the community,” Farley said. “The idea of universal income was born to ensure people had access to food and shelter, as well as all basic health and mental health needs.”
Transgender people, who have been hardest hit by the COVID pandemic, will be prioritized for the program, with black and Latin American transgender women being a special priority, as well as people who may need assistance navigating benefits and financial literacy, said Farley.
“There will be a comprehensive program in partnership with the Treasurer’s Office to provide financial education and coaching,” she said.
Cisneros told the BAR his office was “proud” to be part of the pilot program.
“We work a lot with the mayor and project leaders to distribute the funds,” he said. “I believe these Basic Income Pilots are vital to learning how we can help people with financial difficulties get support and thrive.”
Applicants who are segregated from other available benefits for various reasons will also be preferred, Farley added.
“This pilot is a good opportunity to build more self-sufficiency and economic mobility if someone wants to go back to school or may not have access to other benefits due to immigration status or discrimination in the workforce,” she said.
As for the new telemedicine program for LGBTQ seniors, the city’s Department of Disability and Aging and Services will launch the call for proposals from community groups to manage. The idea came from a senior LGBT task force that convened again last year to help the city meet the needs of LGBTQ seniors during the health crisis, Farley said.
“The mayor really wanted to give our seniors a priority in recovery and consider how we can build stronger crisis support systems in the future and also make sure we fill those gaps,” she said.
According to the mayor’s office, Breed’s budget is set to respond to the city’s most pressing needs at $ 13.1 billion for FY 2021-22 and $ 12.8 billion for FY 2022-23 as they move along To recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, pandemic is advancing while maintaining long-term financial sustainability. Requesting cuts in the city departments was avoided as a projected deficit did not materialize due to the surprising strength of the economy despite the health crisis.
“San Francisco has demonstrated our values and resilience over the past year, and I have no doubt that we will return even stronger from COVID-19,” said Breed. “As we move out of the pandemic, this budget will ensure our recovery is fair and that we provide solutions to key issues affecting our city. We are making significant investments to reduce homelessness, expand mental health support, and support the general public. ”Ensuring safety and addressing the social inequalities exposed by this pandemic, while making responsible choices that preserve our budget reserves we can continue to provide critical urban services and support to our vulnerable residents no matter what lies ahead.
It includes $ 1.8 million to continue the city’s Trans Home SF program, which provides rent subsidies and transitional housing for transgender people, Farley noted, as well as funding a program that supports LGBTQ people who are entering for the first time Buy your own home. The $ 2.2 million reinvested by the city police in violence prevention programs and re-entry efforts for former incarcerated black trans women will be retained in the mayor’s draft budget.
Farley said her office is still awaiting news from various city authorities about what LGBTQ-specific programs they have proposed for funding over the next two years. And she noted that the mayor’s budget proposals for arts grants, emergency housing, rent repayment assistance, family and youth programs, and small business investments will benefit the LGBTQ community as well.
“We’ll be getting details on certain line items in the next week or so,” she said.
By the end of June, the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings on the budget and make recommendations to the full board. In July, managers will vote on the budget and then send it back to Breed for approval, usually by August 1st.
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