No drugs or alcohol. In California, homeless people were given money for nothing — and they didn’t regret it
January 1, 20:55 Share:
The homeless did not spend the money they received on alcohol or drugs (Photo: halfpoint/Depositphotos)
A recent study out of California provided compelling evidence that giving cash to homeless people makes positive changes in their lives, contrary to stereotypes about the potential for abuse of funds due to addictions..
A team of researchers from the University of Southern California, collaborating with the San Francisco-based nonprofit Miracle Messages, provided $750 a month to 103 randomly selected homeless people in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County.
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During the first six months of the study, the majority of homeless participants used their benefits to cover basic needs: 36.6% on food, 19.5% on housing, 12.7% on transportation, 11.5% on clothing, and 11.5% on healthcare.
The surprising fact was that only 2% of the monthly benefit was spent on drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, and even this small percentage was mainly spent on smoking.
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However, the study's most significant finding is that receiving $750 increases the likelihood that people will stop wandering.. The proportion of those living outdoors fell from 30% at baseline to less than 12% after 6 months, a statistically significant change.
The study fits into a growing trend of basic income research, demonstrating that giving people a certain amount of money without significant strings attached can promote positive changes in their lives.