Privately-funded guaranteed income program to accept applications in Atlanta

Atlanta’s Black women now have access to a new privately-funded $13 million guaranteed income program designed to reduce hardships from living expenses and emergencies.

The In Her Hands initiative from the nonprofits Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund, and GiveDirectly, is giving up to $850 per month for two years to more than 650 Black women in Georgia.

It is separate from the city’s publicly-funded guaranteed income program that began accepting applications in January.

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The In Her Hands first site is in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward area, and is now accepting applications from women in that neighborhood and Sweet Auburn, according to a news release. Residents have until May 15 to submit applications at www.InHerHands.us.

The program is designed to address Atlanta’s struggle with income inequality. It was inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who said more than 50 years ago that “the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”

Eligible applicants must be women 18 years or older, and this includes transgender women and non-binary individuals. They must have been impacted by the coronavirus, as well. Their income must also be equal to or below two times the federal poverty line.

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Participants will be selected from a lottery, and half of the recipients will receive $850 a month for 24 months. The other half will receive a first lump sum up payment for $4,300, followed by 23 months of $700 payments.

The program’s second site, in Clay, Terrell and Randolph counties in Southwest Georgia, will begin accepting applications in June. The final project site will be announced in May with applications opening in July.