Aapplications for the inaugural Black Resilience Fund in Portland, Oregon, will close Monday as thousands of residents compete to be selected for one of 50 places in the basic income program.
The fund, originally established in 2020 by the nonprofit organization Brown Hope, is looking to expand its program to provide 50 households with a monthly basic income for three years beginning in December 2022. Within 24 hours of opening applications for the new program, more than 7,500 people had already registered.
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“I think people are really excited to be a part of a program that is as transformative as Black Resilience,” Brown Hope founder Cameron Whitten told the Portland Business Journal. “I know people can really see the impact these types of programs will have. We’re really excited about this opportunity and our first year showing how powerful basic income is.”
Those admitted to the program are eligible for monthly allowances of up to $2,000, according to the fund, depending on family size and annual income.
After applications close on Monday, the nonprofit group will narrow the list of applicants to 1,000 people. The selected candidates then submit two essays to be assessed by the selection committee.
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“We will have a committee that will read the essays, and we will hold info sessions for our finalists and conduct interviews to see who is most willing to take advantage of this opportunity,” Whitten said. “We are really looking for committee members who can clearly demonstrate that they are in a place in their lives where basic income will help them achieve their life goals.”
The revenue program will be funded by donations to Brown Hope, with the organization hoping to raise $500,000 by the end of the year. All donations up to $100,000 will be matched by the Oregon Community Foundation through the end of the month, according to Whitten.