San Francisco is launching a pilot program called the Dream Keeper Fellowship, which will pay $300 a month to individuals considered to be high-risk for committing and being the victims of gun violence. The program is modeled after Operation Peacemaker Fellowship from Richmond, CA, which has resulted in a 55% decrease in gun homicides and 43% decline in shootings, according to the American Journal of Public Health.
The program also includes incentives that could cause the $300 to raise up to $500.
“What we are actually doing is trying to address the root causes of some of what’s happened,” Sheryl Davis, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, explained. “Six thousand dollars per person, when you look at it annually, is nothing if it helps deter criminal activity compared to the amount of money it costs to incarcerate someone, let alone the impact of the activity itself.”
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Davis also admitted that the guaranteed income is not much for one of the most expensive cities in the country.
“We know that $500 in San Francisco is not a significant amount of money,” she explained. “But if it’s enough to get you in to talk to folks, and be able to make a plan for your life, then that’s huge.”
The Dream Keeper Fellowship will begin with 10 participants in October and expand to 30 by the end of the year.