The program, which is being piloted by a nonprofit called the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund (GRO), is called “In Her Hands.”
“In Her Hands is a guaranteed income initiative focused on putting a solution to financial insecurity directly in the hands of women in Georgia. No strings attached,” according to the group’s website.
According to GRO:
The gap between dwindling paychecks and making ends meet for Black women has historically been larger and deeper than most other populations. Though people are incredibly resilient and resourceful with what they have, Black women are among the most likely group to experience cash shortfalls that make covering basic needs difficult. This isn’t the result of poor choices, it’s the result of pervasive economic insecurity that has the sharpest impact on women and communities of color and the people who live at the intersection of the two.
As The Georgia Star News previously reported, the program is focused on Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. It has one of the highest poverty rates anywhere in the country.
Under the plan, which excludes everyone except black women, participants will receive $13 million in total over the next two years. Most of the 650 enrollees will receive $850 per month on average.
But some in the group will receive $4,300 upfront, with $700 monthly payments for the duration of the program.
“We know this story of the Old Fourth Ward, and the trends that are happening, are not just indicative of this neighborhood, but what’s happening across the country,” said Hope Wollensack, the executive director of GRO, when the plan was announced.
The group says its mission is “engaging deeply with communities, rooting our work and initiatives in a systemic analysis of longstanding inequality, and bringing together policy-makers, innovators, and community leaders.”
UBI has become a popular idea in left-wing circles since Andrew Yang, a businessman and former Democrat candidate for president, based his 2020 campaign platform on it.
Other UBI programs are currently being tested around the country.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]