Stimulus 2022: Deadline for monthly $2,000 direct check payments is just two days away

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Applications for the inaugural Black Resilience Fund in Portland, Oregon, are set to close on Monday as thousands of residents vie to be selected for one of the 50 spots in the basic income program.

The fund, initially created in 2020 by the nonprofit group Brown Hope, is seeking to expand its program to provide 50 households with a basic monthly income for three years beginning in December 2022. Within 24 hours of opening applications to the new program, more than 7,500 people had already applied.

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“I think folks are really excited to be part of a program that is as transformational as Black Resilience,” Cameron Whitten, the founder of Brown Hope, told the Portland Business Journal. “I do know that folks really can see the type of impact that this type of program will have. We’re really thrilled for the opportunity, and our first year to demonstrate just how powerful basic income is.”

Those who are accepted into the program will be eligible to receive monthly stipends of up to $2,000 depending on the family size and annual income, according to the fund.

After applications close on Monday, the nonprofit group will narrow down the list of applicants to 1,000 people. Those who are selected will then submit two essays that will be reviewed by the selection committee.

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“We’ll have a committee that will be reading through the essays, and we’ll be holding info sessions for our finalists and do interviews to see who is most prepared to take advantage of this opportunity,” Whitten said. “We’re really looking for committee members who can demonstrate clearly that they’re in a place in their life where basic income is going to help them accomplish their life goals.”

The income program will be funded through donations given to Brown Hope, with the organization hoping to raise $500,000 by the end of the year. All donations up to $100,000 will be matched by the Oregon Community Foundation until the end of the month, according to Whitten.