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Politics & Policy

SF launches guaranteed income program for trans residents

A smiling woman speaking at a podium, flanked by people and colorful pride and trans flags.
Mayor London Breed speaks at the San Francisco Pride 2020 kickoff press conference at San Francisco City Hall in 2020. | HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images | Source: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Mayor’s Office is launching a new guaranteed income program for trans San Franciscans.

The Guaranteed Income for Trans People (GIFT) program, which is accepting applications until Dec. 15, will provide 55 trans people with $1,200 per month for up to 18 months alongside medical, mental health and financial coaching services.

Trans communities in California face higher financial barriers compared with the general population. The last U.S. Trans Survey in 2015 found that 30% of transgender Californians were living in poverty, with trans people of color accounting for a disproportionate number.

Designed in partnership with the Transgender District and Lyon-Martin Community Health Services, the program targets the material conditions of trans community members, rather than symptoms of financial insecurity.

“By giving low-income trans people the resources to cover the expenses they deem most immediate and important given each person’s unique situation, we are implementing a truly community-centered intervention to combat poverty,” Transgender District President Aria Sa’id said in a statement.

Roger Doughty, executive director of LGBTQ community service provider Horizons, emphasized the necessity of GIFT since the stakes are extremely high for trans people.

“There has been some important and courageously won progression in recent years,” Doughty told The Standard. “Trans people—especially trans people of color—still live with unacceptably high levels of poverty, lack of health access, lack of stable housing and violence.

“San Francisco can continue to play a critical leadership role,” he added.

GIFT will be the city’s third guaranteed income program, joining the Abundant Birth Project and the Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists program, which provide basic income for Black and Pacific Islander pregnant people and artists, respectively.

“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,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.