King County pilot program provides extra $500 a month to those in need

With many feeling like the cost of living goes up by the day, a new King County pilot program aims to help those struggling to make ends meet.

Program participants can get $500 a month for 10 months, providing a much-needed financial boost for those most in need.

The Workforce Development Council, which runs the program, says the goal is for participants to set themselves up for future success with these extra funds.

That's been the case for some, including Riberiko Niyomwungere, who went from working three jobs to focusing on other important elements of his life.

"For that 10 months, it increased the amount of time I could spend with my family," Niyomwungere said. "I was able to spend more time in school. I've been able to build a better network for my future career because of it."

The Workforce Development Council says in addition to their career training programs, this program coupled with financial literacy classes is changing peoples' lives. They even saw employment among people enrolled in the program jump from 37% to 66%.

"I think there's something missing in the system, right? So that could help somebody jump that cliff to a better career," said Gyanendra Subba, project manager for the Workforce Development Council.

Some families were able to secure higher-paying jobs and put more money in their savings through the program.

To participate, you had to be below 200% of the federal poverty line in King County. The program was funded by money from the council, the Federal Government, Employment Security Department, King County, and JPMorgan Chase.

However, critics say in the long run, the quick cash won't permanently be there to help these families. The council says they're also running two other basic income programs, and they will make an assessment based on their results.


Female cops accuse Seattle Police leadership of 'grooming,' sexual harassment

Boats Afloat Show 2024 kicks off in Seattle

Light rail from Bellevue to Redmond opens to eager crowds

‘He was fighting for his life’: Pierce County man recovering after ax attack last month

To get the best local news, weather and sports in Seattle for free, sign up for the daily FOX 13 Seattle newsletter.