SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Nearly 12% of Shreveport’s population applied for the new Universal Basic Income program by the deadline Monday night, and now the selection process to narrow it down to 110 recipients starts.
Within the first hour, the program had already received 100 applications. They received an average of 5,000 per day. The city of Shreveport says a total of 22,219 applications were submitted for the program in total.
“I wasn’t surprised that the total we knew going in that we had a significant amount of Shreveport population that was living under the poverty line total is around 25%. And so that number that total number wasn’t surprising, but it absolutely does show the need that’s there and how prevalent that need is,” said Pilot Program Manager Candice Battiste.
After a thorough review process to check for duplicates within each household, an outside independent entity will conduct a lottery to select participants from the eligible pool of applicants. Then a second lottery will sort them randomly into a “treatment intervention group” and a “control group” (non-participant group).
Once the applicants are chosen Battiste says they will survey them at the 6, 12, 18, and 24-month marks to research how the program affects the stability of the participating families’ income, employment, financial stability, and mental and physical health. Researchers will also track and evaluate changes in behavior, school attendance, and academic performance for school-aged children. She says, instead of in-person visits, the participants will be required to self-report.
The results will be gathered in a final report at the end of the program. Battiste hopes the findings can be used to extend the program and offer it to more families in the future.
Applicants will find out if they’re selected within the next three weeks. Payments are expected to go out in late February.