About the People's Prosperity Pilot
The City of Saint Paul launched the People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot in November 2020. This innovative pilot program provided 150 Saint Paul families with $500 per month in guaranteed income for a period of 18 months. The goal of our guaranteed income pilot was simple: get cash to families in our community with no strings attached so they can buy the things they need like food, housing, and other essentials.
The People’s Prosperity Pilot was offered to families participating in CollegeBound Saint Paul, the City’s college savings initiative which is providing every child born to a Saint Paul resident on or after January 1, 2020 with a college savings account and a $50 seed deposit. In an effort to build families’ wealth while supporting their income, their child also received a monthly $10 bonus deposit in their CollegeBound Saint Paul account.
Who was Eligible for the People’s Prosperity Pilot?
People’s Prosperity Pilot participants were selected at random from families with CollegeBound Saint Paul savings accounts and met with staff from the City’s Office of Financial Empowerment to enroll in the program. The Office of Financial Empowerment reached out to families through mail, email, or phone to inform them that they had been selected. Since only the families that are randomly selected were eligible, there was not an open application to apply to the People’s Prosperity Pilot.
Those randomly selected to participate were eligible if they met the following criteria:
- They are Saint Paul resident with a child with a CollegeBound Saint Paul account.
- They are not employees of or elected officials in the City of Saint Paul.
- They must have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:
- being furloughed, laid off, or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19; or
- being unable to work due to a COVID-19 diagnosis for you, your spouse or partner, or your dependent; or
- being unable to work due to a lack of childcare due to COVID-19; or
- closing or reducing hours of a business that you own or operate due to COVID-19;
- They must meet the income eligibility guidelines.
If you would like further information, please reach out to us at Prosperity@ci.stpaul.mn.us or 651-266-8680.
Enrollment in the People's Prosperity Pilot has closed. The Pilot will be completed in April 2022.
PPP in the News
St. Paul guaranteed income helps families of color
They were 150 young families already on fragile financial footing when COVID-19 inflicted even more pain. All welcomed newborns to their families in 2020. They all suffered direct economic fallout from the pandemic, including furloughs, lost jobs and lost child care. More than 80% of families identify as people of color and nearly half live on the city's East Side.
Twitter CEO boosts guaranteed income programs in St. Paul, nationwide
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is donating $15 million to programs across the country, the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income group announced Tuesday. The more than two dozen mayors participating in the group, including St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, will each receive up to $500,000 to grow or sustain their programs. This builds on Dorsey’s initial $3 million donation last summer.
MLK Had a Dream of Guaranteed Income. As Mayors of 11 U.S. Cities, We Are Bringing That Dream to Life
In 1967, against a backdrop of massive civil unrest, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? and called for the immediate abolition of poverty. King’s economic dream was the most direct – a guaranteed income for all Americans. This week, more than 50 years later and against a similar backdrop of racial and economic unrest, we mayors are bringing that dream to life.
St. Paul's guaranteed income pilot a 'life raft' for families
In November 2020, Mayor Melvin Carter launched the St. Paul pilot, which is giving 150 families $500 a month for 18 months. Since then, dozens of cities have rolled out similar programs in hopes of making the case for a federal guaranteed income policy.
U.S. cities try new way to help the poor: give them money
Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of U.S. cities are deploying a new tool in their war on poverty: cash. At least 16 cities and counties are handing out no-strings-attached payments to some low-income residents, a Reuters tally found. At least 31 other local governments plan to do so in the months ahead.
Meet a couple living on disability and $500 per month from a guaranteed-income program for families hurt financially by the pandemic
Malissa and her fiance, Jason, take on part-time jobs whenever they can. But between their disabilities and hesitance about workplace exposure to COVID-19, they've been homebound with their two children for most of the past two years. The possibilities opened up for their family when Malissa was chosen for a guaranteed-income pilot program in her hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Success stories with guaranteed income
One St. Paul family used the extra income to buy a child's winter coat and for rent, groceries and other necessities. A single mother of three said the $500 per month "lifted a big weight" from her budget after she was laid off from her job in the early months of the pandemic.
MPR: What we can learn from basic income pilot programs
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul recently launched guaranteed income pilot programs that provide monthly payments to low-income families. Programs like these are gaining traction around the nation. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two experts about basic income programs and what they hope to learn from pilot programs like the ones in the Twin Cities.
PRISM: Guaranteed basic income recipients in St. Paul describe how the program changed their lives
In 2020, St. Paul, Minnesota, launched a guaranteed basic income pilot project, providing $500 to 150 families for up to 18 months. As part of this first experiment, all participating families are enrolled in CollegeBound St. Paul, a citywide savings account initiative. The program, which went into effect in fall 2020 and is starting to come to a close, has become the latest example of how providing people with a guaranteed income can give communities a boost and impact their work and personal lives.
Axios: St. Paul mayor proposes expanded guaranteed basic income program
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is looking to launch a second, expanded phase of the city's guaranteed basic income pilot program that would include expecting parents, Axios has learned.
Find frequently asked questions about the People's Prosperity Pilot.
Guaranteed Income Art
The City of Saint Paul and Springboard for the Arts partnered to support a cohort of Saint Paul artist’s projects that tell stories about guaranteed income and its impact on families. This exciting and innovative public-private collaboration gives us an opportunity to create a new narrative around the lived experiences of economic insecurity, guaranteed income, and how it can contribute to healthy, stable, and vibrant communities.
This collaboration is supported by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation.