San Francisco launches new guaranteed income program for transgender community

ByTim Johns via KGO logo
Thursday, November 17, 2022
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San Francisco announced the launch of 'GIFT,' a new guaranteed income program for transgender community, on Wednesday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the launch of a new guaranteed income program for the city's transgender community on Wednesday.

The Guaranteed Income for Trans People (GIFT) Program will provide low-income transgender residents with $1,200 each month, up to 18 months to help address financial insecurity within the community.

In a statement, the City of San Francisco said: "GIFT is one of several programs the City is developing, implementing, and evaluating to identify how to best support San Francisco residents and promote economic stability and recovery."

The city also said that the new pilot program is the first guaranteed income initiative to focus solely on transgender people and will provide 55 eligible participants with temporary income. Additionally, the city said it will provide the same individuals with "wrap-around" direct services, such as gender-affirming medical and mental health care, case management, specialty care services and financial coaching.

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"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. We will keep building on programs like this to provide those in the greatest need with the financial resources and services to help them thrive," said Mayor London Breed in a statement.

Transgender communities, experience poverty and economic instability at disproportionate rates according to the city.

"The US Transgender Survey, which is the only largescale study of trans people in the United States, in 2015 found that 33% of trans people in California were living in poverty," said Pau Crego with the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives.

That percentage is compared to 12% of people in the general population that were living in poverty.

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The city also noted that the percentage among transgender people who are also Black, Indigenous and People of Color is even higher.

Lyon-Martin Community Health Services and The Transgender District are leading program design and implementation of the program, with support from the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development and other agencies.

"We hope that our guaranteed income program will be the beginning of a reparative process to change the inequities experienced by our communities, help them survive in a world that is constantly debating their right to exist, and empower them to engage in healthcare services in a meaningful and life-changing way," said JM Jaffe, executive director of Lyon-Martin Community Health Services.

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Applications will be accepted from Nov. 15 through Dec. 15 this year.

According to the program's website, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Identify as transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, or intersex
  • Not be receiving more than $600/monthly in income
  • Reside in the City and County of San Francisco
  • Be willing and able to complete a survey every 3 months, and submit a complete application.

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The GIFT program is San Francisco's third guaranteed income program. It follows the Abundant Birth Project, launched in 2020, and the Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists, launched in 2021.

In 2023, the city said it will launch two additional guaranteed income programs geared towards youth.

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