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California city approves program to provide transgender, nonbinary residents with guaranteed income
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California city approves program to provide transgender, nonbinary residents with guaranteed income

A California city plans to a launch a program that will guarantee monthly income to transgender and nonbinary residents.

What are the details?

Palm Springs, a desert city in southern California, will allocate $200,000 to start a program giving transgender and nonbinary residents between $600 and $900 of monthly income, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Palm Springs City Council unanimously approved a plan to develop the program last Thursday.

The program will give 20 residents the monthly income and, as is typical with guaranteed income programs, the money will be distributed with no strings attached, meaning individuals can spend the money however they see fit. The program is expected to last 18 months.

Palm Springs councilwoman Christy Holstege (D) said after the program was approved that she was "incredibly proud" that her city is coming down on "the right side of history and supporting our trans and nonbinary, gender-nonconforming community," according to the Los Angeles Times.

The city will give the $200,000 to DAP Health, an advocacy health center based in Palm Springs, and Queer Works, an LGBT advocacy organization based in the Coachella Valley, to manage the program and apply for state funds set aside for guaranteed income programs. California has budgeted $35 million for basic income pilot programs.

David Brinkman, CEO and president of DAP Health, claimed transgender people are "one of the most marginalized populations in our city who face some of the highest levels of housing insecurity, joblessness and discrimination."

Jacob Rostowsky, CEO of Queer Works, said the problem is critical because "people who are Trans and Non-Binary are highly marginalized in our society in general, especially economically."

For the program to be fully funded, Rostowsky said the city of Palm Springs would need to match any funds provided by the state.

"Our project's budget is estimated at about $1.8 million," he said, the Desert Sun reported. "And so when we look at what other [programs] that have been successfully funded have done, their local cities have provided nearly a match to that funding."

Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton became the first transgender mayor in California last year.

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