An organization called HudsonUP, located in and advocating for the upstate town of Hudson, New York has been providing a monthly $500 stimulus to members of their community since 2020. Founded by two non-profits called The Spark of Hudson and the Humanity Forward Foundation, the organization has garnered support from Hudson’s mayor, sending a much needed message on how to provide a basic guaranteed income to small-town America.
HudsonUP’s mission aligns closely with the ideas Mayor Kamal Johnson has upheld in his campaigns and work in office. Johnson, who is hoping to run for a third mayoral term after his second term ends in 2023, has worked with HudsonUP and has also prioritized affordable housing and standard income as a member of the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income network.
For a chance to receive the $500 stimulus, members of the Hudson community can enter a lottery to be considered. Recipients are chosen at random and once selected for a set term, they receive $500/monthly for 5 years. Only residents above the age of 18 who make less than the average annual income of the city are eligible. On top of the stimulus, participants have access to classes on financial empowerment and life skills.
Hudson is known as a magnet for upper class visitors with its luxurious main street filled with businesses that the average Hudson resident couldn’t afford to shop in. And though tourism is a driving economic factor for the community, statistics from Data USA show that 23.4% of the town’s population lives below the poverty level as of 2020.
According to HudsonUP’s mission statement, the program not only helps the Hudson community directly, but “demonstrates the power of basic income for all.” Hudson, New York is setting a great example for cities and towns all across the USA by providing a Basic Guaranteed Income.