Sonoma County selected 305 families to receive $500 every month for two years as part of its Pathway to Income Equity program, and the next payment is scheduled for April 19. Officials will study what effect the additional income has on reducing poverty and promoting economic mobility for families with young children, according to the Sonoma County Administrator’s Office.
Angie Dillon-Shore, director of the nonprofit group First 5 Sonoma County, told the Washington Examiner these payments would go out to recipients on the third Wednesday of every month and that the final payment would be issued in December 2024.
“These payments will help families with young children who are often struggling under the double burden of the high costs of housing and child care — typically the two highest household expenses,” said Chris Coursey, chairman of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “The information we gain from this pilot program will help shape future efforts to improve the health and welfare of our community.”
Applications for the program were only open to applicants who met specific criteria, including being a resident of Sonoma County. Other criteria included being pregnant and/or the parent of a child no older than 5, being affected by COVID-19, and making an income of less than 185% of the federal poverty level. The federal poverty level is $42,606 for a family of three.
A total of 6,450 online applications were submitted for review, with 2,383 meeting the eligibility requirements. Applications for the program opened on Sept. 1 and closed on Oct. 31 of last year.