For the past six months in Denver, Colorado, U.S., a social experiment has been unfolding to address homelessness, with some promising data. For one year, 800 homeless residents of the city have been receiving regular payments ranging of $50 or $1000 a month, or $6,500 up front followed by $500 a month from there. The result? So far, participants who were sleeping on the streets at the start of the experiment reported feeling safer and experiencing better mental health. "Many participants reported that they have used the money to pay off debt, repair their car, secure housing, and enroll in a course," Mark Donovan, founder and executive director of the Denver Basic Income Project. About 6% of those in the group receiving $1,000 a month were sleeping outside at the start of the initiative. For those who received a lump-sum of $6,500 for the entire year sleeping outside fell from 10% to 3% in six months. For those in the $500-per-month group, over one-third reported living in their own housing, compared to fewer than 10% who were six months prior. While this is only a preliminary six-month follow-up to the ongoing yearlong study, the data gives hope, with researchers at the University of Denver's Center for Housing and Homelessness Research noting that most who received money from the project were better off.

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