Stockton families to get free monthly cash as part of Mayor's initiative

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs announces new program this afternoon to give qualifying families up to $500 a month for 3 years.
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With three children, Sonia Castillo knows exactly what she could do with an extra $500 a month.

"The bills and stuff for the kids," said Castillo.

Living on just $495 a month in low income housing, she says it's a challenge.

"It's pretty hard. It costs a lot," she said.

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According to the mayors office in Stockton, 1-in-4 residents live below the poverty line, but Mayor Michael Tubbs is hoping a new initiative he announced today will help reduce poverty. The initiative called SEED or Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration.

It will give $500 a month to qualifying families for three years and 100 families or less will be selected.

"It's $1 million philanthropic dollars so it's not tax funded at all that's huge. Number two it's unconditional. So, we're not going to tell people what to do with their money. We're going to trust that they can make wise decisions for themselves and their families," said Tubbs.

The donated cash comes from the non-profit Economic Security Project. 

The mayor plans to launch the new initiative in 6-9 months.

Details on how the families will be selected are still being worked out. Mayor Tubbs says it is the first of it's kind pilot program in the nation.

A research team will be hired to determine how families lives are impacted with the additional cash to see how their lives "are better or not" according to the mayor.

The mayor says the legal team with group providing the money is working on making the cash tax free to recipients.