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Birmingham council OKs pilot program monthly income for 110 single mothers

Over 12 months, 110 single mothers caring for at least one child under 18 will receive $375 each month.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin gave remarks and participated in the Protective Stadium Sign Lighting at Protective Life Stadium Tuesday, September 14, 2021 in Birmingham, Ala. Governor's Office/Hal Yeager

The Birmingham City Council voted to approve a pilot program, supported by the mayor, to guarantee $375 in monthly income to 110 single mothers in Birmingham.

In initiative, Embrace Mothers, is in partnership with Mayors for Guaranteed Income, a national network of city mayors advocating guaranteed income for Americans nationwide. Birmingham received an initial $500,000 grant for the city pilot program from MGI, with an additional $40,000 to support the administration of the program through the Penny Foundation, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The local non-profit East Lake Initiative will also receive up to $10,000 from the city to provide benefits counseling and one-on-one onboarding for program recipients.

“I want to thank the council for working alongside me to see the Embrace Mothers pilot program become a reality,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a statement Tuesday. “This is an opportunity to further our commitment to innovative solutions designed to improve the economic standing for our residents. Women and mothers specifically are the nucleus of our families and communities. By putting financial resource into homes, we not only improve the outcomes for women but for children and the greater community at large. I am proud that Birmingham is the first city in Alabama to take this approach in partnership with MGI.”

Over 12 months, 110 single mothers caring for at least one child under 18 will receive $375 each month. Sixty percent of households in Birmingham are single mothers with children, according to the Mayor’s Office.

Abt Associates, a research partner with MGI, will run an application process expected to begin next month. The city is not responsible for the selection of applicants.

132 group participants will be invited by Abt Associates to complete surveys throughout the duration of the program to evaluate its impact on the community. These control group participants will be compensated but not receive monthly guaranteed income payments.

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“A guaranteed income is a monthly, no-strings-attached, cash payment given directly to individuals,” the Mayor’s office said in a statement Tuesday. “It is unconditional, with no work requirements. The foundational idea behind a guaranteed income is that everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs. A guaranteed income is intended to supplement, not replace, existing benefits.”

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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