San Francisco Now Has a Guaranteed Income Program for Trans People

Joining Palm Springs, SF launched its Guaranteed Income for Trans People program this week.

Earlier this week, Honey Mahogany, who ran an included platform to become the first-ever Black-trans individual elected to the SF Board of Supervisors, conceded to interim District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. Dorsey will remain in his role — placed in the position by Mayor Breed — and is currently the only openly queer person on the board; before his appointment, Dorsey served as the San Francisco Police Department’s Director of Strategic CommunicationsDirector of Strategic Communications.

It’s an unfortunate outcome that we, as arguably the most liberal large city in the country, didn’t vote at such a momentous moment. However, during this same week that saw Mahogany’s concession, the City launched its guaranteed income program for low-income trans individuals — one of the first initiatives of its kind in the country.

“Our Guaranteed Income Programs allow us to help our residents when they need it most as part of our city’s economic recovery and our commitment to creating a more just city for all,” Breed said in a statement published by KRON4. “We know that our trans communities experience much higher rates of poverty and discrimination, so this program will target support to lift individuals in this community up.”

The Guaranteed Income Program for Trans People, a.k.a. “GIFT,” exists among just a few examples of initiatives like this. In our research, we’ve only come across just one other program like this in the country — a recent pilot program launched in Palms Springs that aims to help lift trans people out of poverty. Approved applicants of Palm Springs’ iteration of this program will receive $900 a month; San Franciscans who are approved for the pilot program will relieve $1,200 a month.

Per a 2015 report from U.S. Trans Survey, it was found  33% of trans Californians were living in poverty; this is compared to 12% of people in the general population.

“Even with our rich history of trans advocacy, we see that trans San Franciscans experience poverty at exponentially higher rates compared to the general population,” said Pau Crego, Executive Director of the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives.

It’s a terrible cruel reality that usually the most vulnerable among us are the least served by the greater community and, by proxy, the local government that represents them.

San Francisco is helping change this paradigm with the GIFT program now joining two other guaranteed income initiatives sponsored by the City — one aimed at artists, the other to help Black and Pacific Islander mothers and pregnant individuals during and after pregnancy — that aim to help mitigate local poverty.

Applications for GIFT are now open, and applications for the pilot will be taken up until December 15; for more information on GIFt, visit

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