California RESIDENTS to RECEIVE $500 MONTHLY PAYMENTS in New Guaranteed Income Program: Here is Who is Eligible


The Advancing Fresno County Guaranteed Income program is an innovative initiative that California is implementing to address poverty in Fresno County. Beginning this summer, 150 households will receive $500 monthly disbursements for one year. To be eligible, residents must have small children and reside in southwest Fresno or Huron, with income limits set at 80% or less of the area median income.

The program, which is intended to improve community well-being and provide financial stability, is focused on regions where more than 30% of the population resides below the poverty line. Benefits such as CalFresh will not be affected for selected participants, who are selected through a lottery system. Additionally, there are no limitations on the use of the funds.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, you must have small children and live in southwest Fresno or Huron. The application window expired on May 15, but the county stated the first check would be issued this month. When applying, Fresno residents have to live in specified ZIP codes and earn 80 percent or less of the area median income for their ZIP code. The acceptable ZIP codes were 93706 (southwest Fresno) and 93234 (Huron). The income requirement for southwest Fresno was set at $30,615, while those living in Huron were required to earn $35,103 or less to qualify.

Economic Impact

More than 30% of citizens in these areas live below the poverty line, according to Michael Ryan, a finance expert and founder of “Even small cash infusions can change lives,” Ryan told Newsweek. “Providing people with financial resources can have a knock-on impact, typically improving economic mobility, educational attainment, and general community well-being. It’s like putting a pebble into a pond, but instead of creating ripples, you get positive change.”

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The Selection Process

All selected participants were picked through a lottery, and their increased income will have no impact on their eligibility for programs such as CalFresh, also known as California’s food stamps. Everyone who was picked to make the payments received instructions via email and phone. They also received an SMS from the Fresno Emergency Operations Center Navigator.

Spending Flexibility

Fresno County has no restrictions on how the money may be used, but county program administrators predict it will lead to lower poverty rates and better health outcomes as citizens face rising prices and economic uncertainty.

Expert Opinion

“Fresno’s program is similar to other cities that offer guaranteed income in that it is highly targeted to families living in extreme poverty and that there is an application process to qualify,” Alex Beene, a financial literacy lecturer at the University of Tennessee at Martin, told Newsweek.

According to Beene, there are numerous myths surrounding a program like Fresno’s, including the belief that everyone receives a check or that money is just handed out. Beene stated that both are false assumptions. “Not only was there a process to apply for this program, but it’s limited to just 150 families in a major city,” Beene explained. “While it could turn into something greater, this is a small, targeted initiative to help lift some families out of poverty.”

Future Implications

According to Kevin Thompson, founder/CEO of 9i Capital Group, “free money” schemes have previously been heavily attacked, but they are now being reconsidered due to their success abroad. “Studies have shown that such programs help individuals pay down debt and save money, thereby improving their financial stability and control over their lives,” Thompson stated in Newsweek.

He hopes that other cities and states will follow suit and provide similar services. “Although these initiatives have been relatively under the radar, the positive results they are generating are encouraging more cities and states to consider them,” said Thompson. “While the long-term impact is still uncertain, the initial outcomes suggest that these programs could be beneficial for the future.”


The Advancing Fresno County Guaranteed Income program, which provides $500 per month to 150 low-income homes, shows a progressive approach to poverty alleviation. This effort has the potential to significantly enhance financial stability and community well-being. If successful, it could pave the way for similar initiatives in other locations, promoting economic mobility and lowering poverty rates.

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