On May 15, 110 central Iowans began receiving a $500 monthly stipend as part of UpLift – The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot. Researchers are tracking how recipients use the unrestricted cash received over two years compared with a group of individuals who do not receive a stipend. The three-year study will evaluate health and well-being outcomes and inform strategies for reducing poverty.
As part of the first payment kick off, Dr. Nalo Johnson, President and CEO of Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, submitted an op-ed on behalf of the UpLift Funder Group. The op-ed shares why this project is important to the community and why 11 public and private funders invested in its launch.
“As a society, we champion innovation as the tool to move a sector forward. We must also be innovative in the social services and public benefits space, ensuring the most impactful use of public and philanthropic funds. The UpLift study will provide sound data that can directly inform decisionmakers as to where to invest resources and the type of policies to support to help our community thrive.” - Dr. Nalo Johnson
The UpLift Team has released an infographic highlighting the demographics of the 110 participants in the basic income study. Overall, selected participants reflect the diversity of our region. Participants live in 20 different communities throughout Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties. The average household size is four, and the average household income is just above $24,000 a year.
“Wow this is [the] answer to my prayers! I work two jobs, and because of the schedule with my boys and their father, it is hard for me to do everything. I have been using food pantries and food assistance. I see this as a stepping stone, I have been stuck. I am so excited, I feel like I can never get ahead for the goals I have.” - UpLift participant