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Denver approves monthly cash payments for homeless women, families and trans individuals

Denver will be giving $1,000 a month over the next year to more than 140 of the city’s homeless residents as a part of a pilot program intended to help house them.

Denver’s City Council approved a $2 million contract with the Denver Basic Income Project that will provide cash payments to more than 140 women, families, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, according to a press release issued by the city last week.

The city’s funds dedicated toward the program come from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Just as important as housing and shelter is a regular source of income for those experiencing homelessness,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said in the statement. “This direct cash assistance will help more than 140 women and families currently in shelters move into stable housing, and provide support so they can stay housed, while opening space in our shelters to serve more people.”

The Denver metro area’s point-in-time count for 2021, the most recent data the city has on its homeless population, recorded that more than 3,400 men were staying at area shelters compared to 2,100 women.

Only seven people staying at a shelter identified as gender-nonconforming, and six people identified as trans males, or those who previously identified as female and now identify as male.

The Denver Basic Income Project provides cash payments to 820 individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the metro area. To be eligible for both the Denver Basic Income Project and the city’s funds dedicated to the project, individuals can’t have a severe or untreated substance abuse or mental health concern.

The University of Denver’s Center for Housing and Homeless Research will evaluate the program’s efficacy going forward.

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