Mayor Andre Sayegh recently announced the relaunch of the Paterson Guaranteed Income Program, a significant step in supporting 200 low-income residents with a monthly stipend of $400 for one year.
“Christmas has come early in Paterson,” Sayegh stated on December 21, underscoring the program’s aim to provide financial aid.
The initiative has drawn considerable interest, evidenced by over 6,000 applications, highlighting the pressing need for economic assistance in the community. This response reflects the depth of financial challenges faced by Paterson residents.
Sayegh shared insights from the program’s previous iteration, noting that recipients primarily used the funds on food, utility bills, and some cases rent. He also recounted a recipient’s experience: “One woman said that for the first time in her life, as a result of this guaranteed income initiative, she had a real Thanksgiving with her family.”
Emphasizing the city’s innovative approach, Sayegh said, “I consider Paterson and other cities to be laboratories where we can experiment with innovative ideas to uplift and assist our residents.”
“It’s going to make life a lot easier. I try to do extra things just to earn extra income,” said Lorraine Hicks, a program recipient. “I can kind of relax a little bit now.”
The Paterson Guaranteed Income Program, drawing inspiration from figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., showcases the city’s commitment to exploring solutions for enhancing the well-being of its residents. Sayegh anticipates that this initiative will help reduce financial stress and improve mental health outcomes for low-income residents.