Poverty by definition is a lack of cash; low-income families lack flexible resources, live paycheck to paycheck, and are unable to save and generate wealth.
By simply providing no-strings-attached cash to those who need it, a guaranteed income can have extraordinary, life-changing effects.
Our existing web of government support can feel arbitrary and demeaning, demanding more out of our poorest neighbors than is ever asked of their counterparts. Direct cash -- or a guaranteed income -- hopes to change that.
We did not begin our unconditional cash journey as proponents of any particular policy. We began with an intense focus on and desire to support during the earliest days of a child’s life -- from the moment a mother learns she is expecting, through a child’s third birthday. During our time in the early childhood development and child poverty space, we have come to recognize that the support our nation provides families during the earliest days -- albeit well-intentioned and effective to a certain extent -- is unable to fully address the reality of living in poverty. While we live in a time of intense polarization, ensuring that babies are fed, housed, and safe should not be a controversial stance. For us, cash is not a silver bullet. However, what it does provide is the simplest, most effective, and most efficient way to ensure that all members of our next generations are given equal opportunities to grow into happy, healthy, and productive adults.
Our hope is that our program, The Bridge Project, will add to the growing body of evidence showing unrestricted cash works, ultimately leading to a shift away from complicated, punitive policies and toward ones that are effective, offer dignity, self-determination, and trust, and prioritize our country’s greatest investment -- our future generations.
By the Numbers
Child poverty dropped more than 40% below normal monthly poverty in July of 2021, after just one Child Tax Credit payment
Over 6 million children were kept from poverty in July of 2021 as a result of just one $250 or $300 payment
Over half of recipients report spending the majority of the unconditional cash on food, following by clothing and utilities