YALift! (Young Adult Louisville Income For Transformation)

YALift! provides young adults with a one-year, no strings attached foundation of financial stability.


The data in this pie chart shows aggregate spending for guaranteed income participants in Louisville, KY. This includes all non-cash expenditures from the participants’ bank accounts, not just those that are from the guaranteed income they received.

Retail sales and services accounted for the largest share of spending, at 39.42%, followed by Food and groceries (30.94%) and Transport related expenses (9.77%).


The state of California saw significant reduction in poverty as a result of the largest, national pilot in the Child Tax Credit that was implemented as a result of the Covid Pandemic. 

This program provided tax credit for eligible taxpayers with qualifying children in the form of  cash payouts. The credit amount varied based on factors like the number of qualifying children and the taxpayer’s income. It can lower tax liability or result in a tax refund. 

During the course of this pilot, it has been proven to reduce poverty for families with dependent children – in every state.

Poverty Rate (Current Law)
Poverty Rate (Under new tax credit)
Percentage point reduction
Percent change


Basic Information

sample size (Treatment Group)
Avg. Age of Respondent (years)

Children in Households

Have Children in Household
1 %
No Children in Household
5 %
Avg. children in Household
Avg. Household size


1 %
5 %
5 %
1 %
1 %
African American
5 %
American Indian/ Alaska Native
5 %
1 %
Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander
5 %
5 %
Other/ Mixed
5 %
Marital Status
5 %
5 %
Partnered/ in-relationship
5 %
Primary language at Home
5 %
5 %
5 %

Annual Household Income (in $USD)

$ 14000
$ 10800

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Davon is a 25-year-old resident of the Russell neighborhood. He is a father, works with children with behavioral health issues, and is an entrepreneur who cuts hair and gets paid for the content he creates on TikTok. Thanks to the money he receives from YALift!, Davon was able to rent a suite in a shared business space where he can cut clients’ hair.

“The grant pushed me to be a better person,” he said.

As someone who enjoys fashion, Davon said he made a promise to never buy himself shoes without buying his kids shoes, as well. That meant he couldn’t afford those purchases as often as he would have liked, even though he wanted to be able to provide nice things for his children. This extra guaranteed income money has helped with that and lowered his stress level.

“At any given moment, no matter what happens, I have a cushion point and will always be fine,” he said. “So really, mentally, it just helped me — it just freed up a lot of mental space. Less stress.”

Six months into the program, Davon has been able to upgrade his business space to a bigger suite with more amenities for his clients. He said that opportunity was a result of the money he has received from YALift!

Emari is a 19-year-old from the Russell neighborhood of Louisville who lives with his parents and is training to be a professional boxer. He has already competed at the national level as an amateur. His boxing has taken him to places he would not have been able to go otherwise, like Tulsa, Oklahoma. He hopes to go pro next year, but he’s not putting all his eggs in one basket.

“My mother always taught me to have two plans,” he explained.

On top of his boxing, Emari runs a small landscaping business and takes classes to learn construction skills and get certifications for good-paying jobs.

When he started receiving money under YALift! he knew he wanted to put it toward making his landscaping business better. He was able to repair the lawn mowers he already had and bought a weed eater and a trailer. His parents’ support is helping him make the most of the money he receives.

“It’s helped me save and invest more and learn not to run through my money,” Emari said. “I was never the type of person who saved money, so it’s opening my eyes. This experience is awesome and I’m glad I got to do it.”

His goal is to save up to buy a small truck to use for his landscaping business next summer. He will also go to another national boxing competition soon, which could put him in the running for the 2024 Olympic Games.

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Tashonna is a 24-year-old student at the University of Louisville who lives in the Smoketown neighborhood. She is studying psychology because she said she wants to help people, and she has experienced her own mental health challenges. Having to stretch her budget doesn’t help.

“There would come times where I would have to be like, ‘am I going to pay rent, or am I going to buy groceries or pay the phone bill?'” she explained. “But the extra $500 gives me a cushion to where I don’t have to make those decisions as often.”

She works three jobs, one of which she picked up after she found out she was going to receive regular payments under YALift! When she was selected as a participant and went to Youth Build to complete her YALift! enrollment, she learned of the opportunity to become an AmeriCorps member at the community center. It gives her extra income and a small scholarship for school. Tashonna also works at University of Louisville as an advising assistant to students in the Arts & Sciences, and she drives for DoorDash. She said she spends the monthly $500 she receives mainly on her rent.

“I’m struggling to make the income I make and even that isn’t enough,” she said. “I mean $500 to some people might not sound like a lot, but when you get it, you realize how much it does help and how much stress it does take off.”

Tashonna said knowing she will receive that money each month helps her mentally by allowing her to budget ahead for expenses. It gives her peace of mind, and that’s something she is worried about losing when the money from YALift! is no longer available.

“If I could get it again, I would,” she said.

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