By: Marlo Lacen
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The City of Shreveport says more than 22,000 people applied for the guaranteed income program before the midnight deadline Monday.
Now, the city says the 22,219 applications will be narrowed down to 110, the total number of households that will receive $660 a month for a year. With 187,593 residents as of the 2020 Census, the number of applications represents nearly 12 percent of Shreveport’s population.
The money is unconditional. There are no work requirements and no restrictions on how the money can be spent.
The plan for Shreveport’s guaranteed income pilot program includes research into how the injection of no-strings-attached cash affects the stability of the participating families’ income, employment, financial stability, and mental and physical health. Researchers will also track and evaluate changes in behavior, school attendance, and academic performance for school-aged children.
Applications will undergo a thorough review process to check for duplicates and ensure there are not multiple applications from one household. Participants will be selected within the city limits of Shreveport with 50 percent of the participants coming from the five poorest zip codes in Shreveport.
Qualified applicants are single parents who live in Shreveport and earn below 120% of the Federal Poverty Level, which ranges from an annual income of $17,420 for a family of two to $44,660 for a family of eight. Single mothers, fathers, stepparents, grandparents, caregivers, or legal guardians with school-age children can apply. The applicant can not be living with a partner whether they are married or unmarried.
According to the city’s website, an outside, an independent entity will conduct a lottery to select participants from the eligible pool of applicants.
Once participants are selected, a second lottery will sort eligible applicants. Participants will be randomly selected into an “treatment intervention group,” and a “control group,.” or a non-participant group. The intervention group will receive the guaranteed income. The control group will NOT receive the guaranteed income, but will be invited to participate in future research activities. The control group allows us to understand the impact of guaranteed income over time amongst two similar groups of people: one who receives guaranteed income and one who does not. People assigned to the non-participant group will not receive a guaranteed income through the program and will not be invited to participate in any further research activities.
Once the final selection process is complete, applicants can expect to hear whether they’ve been selected within three weeks.