U.S. News


Program offers guaranteed income to Indigenous families

The money for the program comes from the Perigee Fund, a nonprofit that supports the well-being of families, especially in communities of color.
A newborn baby grasps onto the hand of an adult.
Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 16, 2023

The first guaranteed income program exclusively for Indigenous families is now accepting applications. 

The Nest program in Washington state aims to help Indigenous families which are "disproportionately impacted by poverty and maternal-child health disparities."

Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services says it will provide up to 150 families with $1,250 in monthly payments from when a mother is at least 12 weeks pregnant until the child's third birthday. 

"By providing guaranteed income, we are telling them that they are enough, that they are valuable by their very nature," said Tia Yazzie, abundance auntie with Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services. 

More birthing wards close in a state with broad 'maternity deserts'
Pregnant woman patient receiving an IV in a bed at a hospital.

More birthing wards close in a state with broad 'maternity deserts'

The March of Dimes said the farther a woman has to travel to receive birthing care, the greater the risk of maternal and infant morbidity.


People who qualify for the program have to meet specific criteria: They must be Indigenous to North America or the Pacific Islands and live in Washington's King County, Pierce County or on the Tulalip Reservation. 

They must also meet certain income requirements. 

"Guaranteed income is transformative not only because it is associated with decreased perinatal mood disorders, increased self-efficacy and improved birth outcomes, but also because it demonstrates an inherent trust and value in communities whose humanity is consistently devalued by mainstream society,” said Camie Goldhammer, founding executive director of Hummingbird IFS. “It's a testament to the profound love and care we have for our communities that we are able to provide such an impactful program to give financial stability to people at such a critical point in their lives."

The money for the program comes from the Perigee Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports the well-being of families, especially with initiatives in communities of color.