LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Above the Poverty Line

Above the Poverty Line invests in our most marginalized neighbors. Statistically poverty is the most damaging affects of the African American and Latino working class communities besides food insecurity in District 37. This factor can lead to higher mortality, chronic disease and dismantling families. Our basic income program promotes financial stability and encouraging positive changes to sustaining a debt free household while learning skills to increase income, improving credit, food budgeting & saving.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Income Inequality

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Open Arms Food Pantry and Resource Center has been located in Congressional District 37 currently since 2018 and houses 14.9% impoverished residents which totals 1.4 million complete living beneath the poverty line. Data shows 30% of of the overall population of constituents experience and food insecurity at staggering rates including children of school age. Priority should be given to this epidemic within District 37 because limited access of fresh unprocessed foods statistically leads to disproportionate health challenges, chronic diseases, lasting - poverty, food insecurity and lower comprehension rates amongst school aged children. Our district has also been determined by the U.S Census to be labeled a "food desert" with little to no access to a grocery retailer that provides fresh to low processed foods within walking distance of 10 miles or less; this torment leads to our food pantry services steadily increasing as well as limited focus on remedies to eliminating poverty.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

We propose with the funding request of $75,000 over the course of (1) year will be allocated to extend programming named "Above the Poverty Line"a Guaranteed Income Program designed to strategically decrease and or eradicate poverty within our district for individuals with families of two or more and those recently incarcerated. Above the Poverty Line will dedicate $300 a month for the course of 12 months to approx #200 successful carefully vetted applicants. This form of "Basic Income or Universal Income" concept we project will help eliminate heightened chances of month to month debt families and those incarcerated face instead providing a safety net to assist in paying rent, utility bills or food purchases. Case management will be an additional mandatory element with the basic income payment program to curate effective and proper budgets per household that work with their current inbound incomes and expenses for a course of (1) year. Above the Poverty Line is a progressive and hands on approach to truly helping residents in need of supportive income that otherwise would remain statistically in poverty and continuously experience food insecurity; Ultimately lowering the percentage of those on the verge of re-entering incarceration as well. The remaining funding will be allocated towards marketing of the programming every month, program materials (ie; budget templates, folders, intake forms, imprinted materials and specific program checks).

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

It aims to create and deepen community partnerships and center people with lived experiences of hunger and instability from previous incarceration in creating a more conducive society. We aim to truly provide economical solutions those most marginalized at the center of the solution and strives to eliminate the root causes of poverty and hunger to not only to help provide access to healthy food, but also to create long-term solutions to strengthen these communities through the evolving impoverished world we are living in and facing the issues contributing to extreme poverty straight on.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Our organization will compare the (#200) applicants pre-program economical barriers, spending habits, budget practices and debt amounts with progress checks monthly to see if the applicant has gained healthy household practices, overcome or near overcoming economic barriers, smarter food choices, debt is decreasing and income levels are increasing beyond the basic income programs support to better sustain there household needs; also understanding The objective of the project is 80% or more of the clients participating will eliminate debt by 25%-50%. Leading them to an economically healthier household and utilizing the skills learned through Above the Poverty Line case management to break the cycle of poverty with self reliance and skill training.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 200

Indirect Impact: 550