Uplift Harris – Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

Harris County Public Health is starting a pilot program called Uplift Harris that will provide some eligible households with a $500 monthly income for 18 months.  

This is a pilot program being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and its goals include reducing income inequality and generational poverty, improving self-sufficiency, and creating a framework for anti-poverty programs in Harris County.  

The application for the program will open on January 12th, 2024, and it will be available until February 2nd, 2024. After the application closes, applicants will be randomly selected to receive the guaranteed income funds. It does not matter how early or late you apply as applicants will be chosen at random to ensure a fair chance for all. 

Applicants from two different groups will be randomly selected: those who apply through the publicly available form and those who apply through the ACCESS Harris program. ACCESS stands for Accessing Coordinated Care and Empowering Self-Sufficiency and is a separate program that supports vulnerable individuals. If you are already a member of the ACCESS program, you can apply to Uplift Harris through a special link that they will provide you. Visit the ACCESS website for more information. 


In order to apply, you must meet certain requirements based on income and geographic location. 

  1. Geographically, you must be a Harris County resident who lives in one of the following zip codes:       
    • 77050
    • 77093
    • 77051
    • 77060
    • 77028
    • 77033
    • 77026
    • 77081
    • 77547
    • 77091
  2. You must be 18 years of age or older
  3. Your household income must fall below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  4. You must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holders)

If you’re anything like me and don’t quite understand the Federal Poverty Level, here is a handy explanation. It’s an income measurement used by the government for program eligibility based on household size. If you’re unsure whether you and your household qualify, just know you need to be below the following incomes per various household sizes: 

  • For individuals: $29,160 
  • For a family of 2: $39,440 
  • For a family of 3: $49,720 
  • For a family of 4: $60,000 
  • For a family of 5: $70,280 
  • For a family of 6: $80,560 
  • For a family of 7: $90,840 
  • For a family of 8: $101,120 
  • For a family of 9: $111,400 
  • For a family of 10: $121,680 
  • For a family of 11: $131,960 
  • For a family of 12: $142,240 
  • For a family of 13: $152,520 
  • For a family of 14: $162,800 

Keep in mind that a household is you and anyone who depends on you for living expenses or anyone you depend on, and only one member of each household may apply to the program. Duplicate applications will be disqualified, so please don’t apply more than once. 

When and How Do I Apply? 

Applications will open on the Harris County website on January 12th and stay open until February 2nd. The application must be completed online on a smartphone, computer, or tablet device. If you don’t have access to a device or internet at home, please feel free to come to the library for assistance. 

The application should take about 30 minutes to complete and will consist of questions about yourself and life experiences. You will need to provide an email address or phone number in order to receive updates about your application. You must also upload a government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license or passport and a picture of yourself. After completing the application, you may be contacted to provide proof of residency and income. If you are unhoused, there will be other options to verify your eligibility. 

Look out for texts or emails from GiveDirectly and AidKit as they may follow up with you for more information. 

What Should I Expect After Applying? 

After the application process closes, your application will be verified for eligibility, and you may be contacted for extra information. A month after the application closes, you can expect to be notified about whether you have been selected to receive the guaranteed income funds.

  • If you are selected, you will receive $500 a month for 18 months either through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card. 
  • Recipients should expect their first payment by the end of April 2024.
  • If you'd like to learn more, please visit Uplift Harris