The Black Economic Equity Movement (BEEM) is a Guaranteed Income project for young Black people ages 18 –24 in San Francisco and Oakland. The BEEM project is looking at whether providing Guaranteed Income and financial supports improves the emotional, physical, and financial well-being of Black young people. If you participate in the project you will receive:
- Participants will receive $500 per month for one year either immediately upon enrolling in the program or after a 12-month waiting period. The money will be provided through an easy to use bank card with no fees.
- Participants have access to six one-on-one financial coaching sessions with a MyPath certified financial mentor (participation optional).
- Participants also have access to monthly peer discussion groups, MyPath’s MyMoney Hour, where young people and their peers engage in financial training and discussion around topics like building a budget, improving your credit score, and banking (participation optional).
It is important to know that not everyone who participates in the project will get the Guaranteed Income right away. Half the participants will receive income right away. The other half will have to wait for a year before they receive the payments. The decision about which group someone goes into is done randomly, like the flip of a coin.
The BEEM project will include 300 young people. About 200 young people from the City of Oakland and about 100 young people from the City of San Francisco.
We will enroll people between November 2022 and June 2023. We will stop taking web applications on April 30th.
The selection process takes place in three parts:
- Online Screening – First you need to complete our enrollment form.
- Phone Screening – If you think you are eligible for the project, we’ll give you a call to ask a few follow-up questions. We’ll text you before we call, so be sure to pick up after you get a text from the BEEM project.
- All eligible participants will be entered into a monthly drawing – If you are eligible for the project, your name will be entered into a monthly drawing. We will hold a drawing once a month for a total of 7 months. Each month, 40 individuals will be randomly selected to enroll. If your name is selected, we will text and call you to schedule an in-person enrollment appointment.
Monthly payments to participants will be distributed through debit cards. You do not need to have a bank account to participate (but you can get support setting one up if you are interested).
Participants don’t have to do anything to receive the Guaranteed Income. You can choose how best to spend this money to meet your needs. There are no lengthy forms or requirements. There is no explanation needed as to why you deserve or need this money.
The cash we provide is a gift—you don’t need to do anything to earn this money and there are no strings attached.
Financial capability includes the knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors and access that together allow people to manage their money. We know that money can be a confusing and sensitive topic. It’s one you don’t learn much about in school or at work and often we don’t know who we can trust to talk to about it. As part of the BEEM project, you’ll have two different opportunities to build up your financial capabilities at no cost to you. You can meet one-on-one with a financial mentor and you can participate in a peer support discussion group. These two opportunities are designed to help you learn about topics like budgeting, saving, and building your credit. Participating is optional and you can join at any point in the project.
Our financial capabilities work is being led by a team of financial experts from MyPath, Sage Financial Solutions, Financial Capability Investment, and Reese Financial Services. All financial mentors have expertise and high quality financial coaching certification, and they have been trained by MyPath to work with young people like you who are just beginning their financial journey. Because a lot of these services are one-on-one, there isn’t a “right” place to start from– wherever you are is where we’ll begin!
You’ll be dealing with money for your whole life, so learning how to manage your money and credit early on will make it easier to navigate all kinds of decisions like which financial products to use, whether to accept a loan, whether to invest money in a 401k, and more.
Fill out our screening form here. To participate you must be Black, between the ages of 18 and 24, and live in certain areas within Oakland or San Francisco. If you are eligible, our staff will call you back to let you know that we’ve entered your information into our drawing.
There is a multi-step process for enrolling in the BEEM project:
- Complete our screening form. If you are eligible, your name will be entered into a monthly drawing.
- Every month we will randomly select 40 people to participate in the project. If you are selected in the drawing, our staff will schedule an enrollment appointment for you. The enrollment appointment will take place at one of our community locations. We anticipate the screening call will take approximately 10-20 minutes.
- Enrollment appointment (~2 hours, must be scheduled in advance):Our in-person enrollment appointments include several steps.
- Document check: We’ll need documents to verify your age, address, and identity. Check out the table below to see which documents work for our eligibility screening.
- Survey: Every participant will take a survey asking questions about your physical health, mental health, financial capability, and community involvement.
- Enrollment in financial capabilities supports: If you would like, we will set you up with a financial mentor and with a peer learning circle – these services will be offered at no cost to you, regardless of when you receive your payments.
- Enrollment in CFR card (pre-paid debit card): When you are scheduled to receive payments (either right after enrollment or one year later), we’ll set up a debit card, which will get loaded with $500 on the first day of the month for 12 months.
We’ve aimed to keep documentation minimal, but we do need some documentation to prove your age and your address for you to participate in the project. Examples of documents you could provide are included below:
Documents to show age – please be sure that the document you bring includes your birth date (Only one needed):
Documents to show address (Only one needed):
We also recognize that some people may be experiencing homelessness, so providing proof of address may not be possible. If you are in this situation, we are happy to accept a letter from a non-profit or agency that explains your situation.
We will have enrollment locations in both Oakland and San Francisco. If you are selected to participate in the project, we will work with you to find an enrollment location that works for you.
Unfortunately, our project requires that enrollment take place in-person. We have tried to make our enrollment locations accessible by public transit, and we will do our best to work around people’s scheduling needs.
Give us a call back at the number we’ve been calling you at to reschedule, or send us a text. We’ll work with you to find another time.
If you are scheduled to receive your income payments right after enrollment, you will receive a debit card during the enrollment appointment. If you are in the cash now group, you will start receiving income on your debit card on the first day of the next month after enrollment (e.g. if your enrollment appointment was in October, you will receive income on November 1st). If you are scheduled to receive income in year two, (one year after enrollment) we will schedule an in-person follow-up appointment about a year later, where we will give you a debit card where you can receive funds. The funds will be automatically applied to the debit card that you received.
We’ll also be following up with you monthly to invite you to our financial capabilities workshops.
The BEEM Research Project
The research will help us understand if a no-strings attached income supplement will support improved health, mental health, and financial and economic outcomes for Black young adults. With this research, we hope to bolster support for Guaranteed Income programs around the country.
Once enrolled, your participation in the research is entirely voluntary. Completing the enrollment process and survey is necessary for enrolling in the BEEM project to receive the payments and optional financial capabilities opportunities. We acknowledge that Black people have experienced extreme trauma in the name of “research.” We take the process of doing research responsibly very seriously.
To make participating in research ethical and comfortable, we believe deeply in transparency and choice. We walk every member of the study through an informed consent process, making sure they understand how the study works, what their rights are, and that they may withdraw from the study at any time. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have about the research before you enroll.
Participation in the study will last two years. Your first survey will happen immediately after you agree to participate and will take about 45 minutes. You will take two more in- person surveys 12 and 24 months later, each will take about an hour to complete. The surveys that occur at 3, 6, 9, 15, 18, and 21 months will take about 30 minutes to complete and can be done virtually.
Yes. You can decide to stop at any time. Just tell the study staff right away if you wish to stop being in the study.
Also, the study staff may stop you from taking part in this study at any time if you do not follow the project rules, or if the study is stopped.
Taking part in this study is your choice. You may choose either to take part or not to take part in the study. If you decide to take part in this study, you may leave the study at any time. No matter what decision you make, there will be no penalty to you in any way.
You can talk to the researcher(s) about any questions, concerns, or complaints you have about this project. Contact the researcher Sheri Lippman at [email protected].
If you wish to ask questions about the project or your rights as a research participant to someone other than the researchers, or if you wish to voice any problems or concerns you may have about the study, please call the UCSF Institutional Review Board at 415-476-1814.
Guaranteed Income payments for twelve months are included as part of this project – either immediately or after a 12-month waiting period – which totals $6,000. You will also receive a small reimbursement for your time when you complete the surveys, including $40 for the longer surveys (at enrollment, 12 months, and 24 months), and $20 for each of the shorter surveys you complete (at 3, 6, 9, 15, 18, and 21 months), for a total of $240.
Public Benefits Questions
Some benefits could be affected while others will not be affected at all. Those selected to participate will have an opportunity to meet with a benefits counselor about their specific situation regarding any public benefits they are receiving such as CalWORKS, CalFresh, General Assistance, and others before starting in the program. At that time, they will be able to decide whether or not they want to participate.