Jack Dorsey Contributes $1M to Kickstart Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot in St. Louis

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and current CEO of Square Inc., is contributing $1 million to support the launch of a pilot program for guaranteed basic income in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. According to the city, applicants will be selected on a first come, first serve basis “for $500 monthly payments for 18 months.”

Jack Dorsey Supports St. Louis’ Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot

Twitter’s co-founder and the current CEO of Square Inc., Jack Dorsey, is contributing $1 million to jumpstart St. Louis’ Guaranteed Basic Income (STL GBI) Pilot Program, which aims to combat poverty in the city. The city of St. Louis announced the launch of the program on Tuesday, noting that participants will receive $500 a month for 18 months.

The announcement details that in December last year, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones signed Board Bill Number 116 (BB116), sponsored by Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard, to establish the first guaranteed basic income program in the U.S. state of Missouri. The program originally planned to enroll 440 families. However, thanks to Dorsey’s contribution, the program can now handle 100 more participants. The city described:

Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall philanthropic initiative, with operational support from Deaconess Foundation, is contributing $1 million to add an additional 100 participants to the program for a total of 540 participants.

To be eligible for assistance, applicants must meet specific criteria, including residing in the city of St. Louis, having a child or dependent under 18 enrolled in a public school, maintaining a combined household income below 170% of the federal poverty level, and demonstrating negative financial impacts due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as loss of work or increased childcare costs.

A number of U.S. cities have independently initiated pilot programs to provide basic income for residents. “St. Louis is joining more than 30 municipalities across the country in trying this new, exciting way to financially empower families and lift them out of poverty,” said Mayor Jones. She added that the city is “thrilled to have the support of St. Louis native Jack Dorsey to help even more families make ends meet.”

The city explained, “Applicants chosen via lottery will be invited to submit financial documentation and verification of City of St. Louis residency,” adding:

Applicants will then be selected on a first come, first serve basis for $500 monthly payments for 18 months.

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