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Denver Basic Income Project now accepting applications, will pay $1,000 a month to the homeless

People experiencing homelessness, including veterans, eligible for the program
Homeless camp in Denver
Posted at 3:56 PM, Oct 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 17:56:53-04

DENVER – A program that will pay up to $1,000 each month in direct cash to a number of people experiencing homelessness in Denver over the course of a year is now accepting applications.

The Denver Basic Income Project, a project that will help 820 unhoused individuals and families with monetary assistance for 12 months, announced Monday applications were now open through Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.

People living in shelters, their cars, a friend’s house, motels, or those who are otherwise unsheltered are eligible for the program, officials said.

“Research tells us direct cash assistance is a powerful way to reduce wealth inequality and improve human thriving, and we are ready to apply our learnings from our pilot projects into this 12-month program,” said Denver Basic Income Project Founder Mark Donovan. “We need to do better than our current social safety net, and our hope is that this project will expedite paths to stability and thriving.”

Participants of the program will have to consent to be part of the University of Denver’s Center for Housing and Homelessness Research, which will conduct an analysis via surveys every six months, as well as short bi-weekly text surveys that will ask those in the program about health and well-being, housing stability, and financial well-being. Those in the program may also be asked to complete interviews to share their experience of the program, officials said in a news release.

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The Denver Basic Income Project is partnering with more than a dozen diverse community-based organizations, including the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the Colorado Village Collaborative, Servicios de La Raza, Rocky Mountain Human Services, among others.

People experiencing homelessness not connected with either of these organizations but who are interested in participating in the program are encouraged to fill out this interest form. The interest form will be open from Oct. 10 through Oct. 21, with the work to pair interested individuals with these organizations happening from Oct. 14 through Nov. 3.

Participants may apply regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status, officials said Tuesday. Those participating must be 18 years of age or older and must not have severe and unaddressed mental health or substance use needs, officials said in a news release.

Once selected, participants will be randomly placed into three different groups:

  • 260 individuals will receive $6,500 upfront and another $500 per month over 11 months
  • 260 individuals will receive $1,000 per month over 12 months
  • 300 individuals will receive $50 per month over 12 months

Funding for the Denver Basic Income Project was approved by Denver City Council last month. Under the contract, Denver will give the Denver Basic Income Project $2 million for the program.

Money for the program comes from the America Rescue Plan Act.