SCVNews.com | New Resources for County Residents in Need

In the wake of unprecedented public interest in Breathe: Los Angeles County’s Guaranteed Income Program, LA County announced the availability of extensive resources to support struggling residents, including a wide range of jobs and nutrition programs.

Breathe: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program has attracted tens of thousands of applications, including 95,000 received in a single day. The surge of interest demonstrates the need to directly support and invest in residents with meaningful programs that improve lives. As a safety net, the county is launching a series of programs to help stabilize county residents and provide upward mobility.

“The enrollment phase alone showed us the high demand for guaranteed income and reinforced the continued need for a multi-pronged approach to ending poverty. In so many cases, our society has criminalized poverty. Breathe helps us move away from this and recognizes that systemic racism and bias has led far too many people from diverse backgrounds and work experiences to live below the poverty line,” said the board chair of Holly J. Mitchell LA County Oversight.

Upcoming programs

The county is investing $9 million to train workers in communities hardest hit by COVID-19 for jobs in high-growth industries. This program, called High Road Training Partnerships, will launch in May and will provide training and job placement opportunities in green infrastructure, entertainment and digital media, technology, healthcare and advanced manufacturing.

The county is leveraging funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to expand its Careers for a Cause program, the first of its kind. This program trains people, many with lived experience, for one of 4,000 vacancies in the county’s homeless-serving system.

The county is employing young people aged 16 to 24 in high-profile jobs through its new [email protected] Elevate program, launched in May. [email protected] Elevate is mobilizing $5 million in bailout funding to provide 400 hours of paid work experience to young residents while exposing them to different career opportunities in high-growth sectors. The county works directly with employer partners to provide opportunities for young people while helping the business community.

In addition, programs focusing on seniors’ nutrition and community food resources are also underway.

Breathe Candidates notified in May

Breathe is considered the oldest such program in the country. Over the next three years, Los Angeles County will invest $36 million to put $1,000 a month directly into the hands of 1,000 randomly selected LA County residents who live in communities heavily impacted by the pandemic and meet program income thresholds.

The county’s research partner in the program, the University of Pennsylvania Guaranteed Income Research Center, is currently reviewing the data and removing unqualified and duplicate applications. The academic team will also study the long-term impacts of monthly income on residents’ economic well-being and how to effectively support LA County residents in the years to come.

Candidates selected for Breathe will be notified in May 2022.

Breathe was created following a motion co-authored by Supervisor Mitchell and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to provide people-centered solutions to fight poverty. The program is overseen by the LA County Poverty Reduction Initiative and supported by leading foundations in Los Angeles and around the country.

Community organizations were essential partners in the application process, and more than 50 registration centers across the county were available to residents without internet access or those who needed additional assistance applying to a welcoming environment. The enrollment centers have also helped connect residents to other county resources.

As the economic fallout from the pandemic continues, residents are encouraged to visit LA County Recovers for information and a comprehensive list of resources.

Resources are also available at respire.lacounty.gov and respira.lacounty.gov.

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