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Politics

Baltimore begins processing payments for guaranteed income pilot program

Young Baltimore families chosen to participate in a new guaranteed income pilot program will see their first check soon, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday.

Scott said the city would begin processing payments of $1,000 per month to go to 200 parents selected for the program. Participants will soon see the money appear in bank accounts or on pay cards, the mayor’s office said.

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Recipients have said that over the course of the two-year program, they plan to put the unconditional cash assistance toward career training, improving their living situations and achieving financial stability, according to a news release.

The program, which carries no requirements for how the money is spent, is meant to aid young families’ finances without replacing other forms of benefits and assistance.

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To be eligible, parents must be city residents from age 18 to 24 who earn an income at or below 300% of the federal poverty line and are responsible for caring for children.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and other local officials and strategic partners announce the guaranteed income pilot program April 20 during a news conference at the War Memorial Building.

After the program was announced by the mayor’s office in April, eligible parents who applied were chosen by lottery to receive payments.

One group of 70 participants will take part in a “storytelling cohort,” while 130 will undergo surveys and interviews for a research study. An additional set of 156 applicants, who will not receive payments but are eligible for incentives, will serve as the control group, according to the mayor’s office.

The payments will come from $4.8 million of the city’s $641 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, while other donors and the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success will cover the program costs.

The pilot, called the Baltimore Young Families Success Fund, will be administered by the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success along with the nonprofit CASH Campaign of Maryland. Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a national network, will provide technical assistance and financial technology company Steady will distribute the cash to families.


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