Select Page

In his own words, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” Dr. King’s call to action resonates with the Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission (Fresno EOC) as the Advancing Fresno County Guaranteed Income program prepares to launch in March.

“Guaranteed Income” refers to a recurring cash payment provided to individuals in vulnerable communities with no spending restrictions or work obligations. Families in Fresno County will soon have the opportunity to embody Dr. King’s words. With inflation, many households are experiencing high gas prices at the pump, paying more for groceries, and facing higher costs on everyday items.

On March 15th, Fresno EOC will launch the Advancing Fresno County Guaranteed Income program, aiming to support 150 families in two areas of Fresno County with the highest rates of concentrated poverty. If selected, families residing in the 93706 zip code in Southwest Fresno and the 93234 zip code in Huron will receive $500 a month for 12 months.

To qualify for the program, households must reside in either the 93706 (Southwest Fresno) or 93234 (Huron) zip codes, have an adult who is pregnant or has one or more young children aged 0-5, and earn 80% or less of the Area Median Income for their zip code, which is approximately $30,000 or less for 93706 and $35,000 or less for Huron. Immigration status does not affect eligibility, and Fresno EOC has received waivers from the state for CalFresh and CalWORKS, with navigators available for assistance.

The newest info from the American Community Survey shows that in southwest Fresno (zip code 93706) and Huron (zip code 93234), more than 30% of people live in poverty. These areas have the highest poverty rates in Fresno city and the western part of Fresno County. The aim is to use all the data collected from this program to push for expanding it to other parts of Fresno County later on.

Similar programs were funded by the state in 2022, but unfortunately, Fresno County and the Central Valley were overlooked. Just north of Fresno, in Stockton, California, a guaranteed income program was implemented, providing $500 per month to randomly selected residents for two years, no strings attached. According to a study in the program’s first year, it significantly boosted participants’ job prospects, financial stability, and overall well-being. After being excluded from the state’s funding allocation, Fresno EOC managed to secure these funds from private donors.

“We made a way out of no way. Our local community did not let the state’s decision to leave the Central Valley out of its Guaranteed Income Pilot Program funding in 2022 end the vision to implement this anti-poverty idea here in our region, which has some of the highest poverty rates in the nation. We are grateful for the foundations who have stepped in to help make this vision a reality,” said Emilia Reyes, Fresno Economic Opportunities CEO.

Guaranteed Income applications are scheduled to open on March 15th and close on May 15th at 11:59 PM. Eligible participants can apply online or in person at locations in the two priority zip codes including Fresno EOC’s Local Conservation Corps (Neighborhood Youth Center) located at 1805 E California Ave, Fresno, CA 93706 and in Huron at the previous Senior Center 16900 5th Street Huron, CA 93234. Informational sessions will be held March 16th at Fresno EOC Franklin Head Start from 10 AM – 12 PM in the 93706-zip code and on March 26 from 5 PM – 7 PM at the John Palacios Community Center in the 93234-zip code. Applications are also available through Fresno EOC’s Guaranteed Income Web page.

After the application period concludes, the evaluation team at the Centers for Community Voices at Fresno State will randomly select a total of 150 prospective participants—75 from the 93706 zip code and 75 from the 93234 zip code area—via a lottery process. Selected families will then submit their documents, and applications will be processed for finalization.

Payments will be distributed this summer, and participants are encouraged to engage in paid surveys. Throughout the one-year duration, researchers will assess the program’s effects on participants’ health, well-being, parental involvement, and other relevant factors.

Through this initiative, Fresno EOC will continue to do the hard work that aligns with its strategic goals. One goal being creating programs and services that are able to respond to changing community priorities, providing support for immediate need and the infrastructure for wealth generation.






* indicates required

Health Services - Contact Julio