Dozens of families across El Paso County will soon be eligible for $500 monthly cash payments after county commissioners unanimously agreed to set aside $500,000 for a pilot guaranteed income program. The county will contract with UpTogether, a nonprofit organization that advocates for cash assistance to low-income Americans. Together, they will set eligibility criteria, and begin providing payments to 135 families sometime during summer 2024 from a pot that totals $900,000 after the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation added $400,000. The county commissioners moved forward with their plan after El Paso City Council narrowly defeated a similar program. Elosio De Avila of the advocacy group El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization, which worked on a similar program during the pandemic, said “This program takes people out of poverty and helps people immensely. We hope that, by the county doing this, the city will be inspired to follow suit.”

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