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Unconditional Monthly Stimulus Checks to Black Women Coming Soon

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

stimulus checks to Black women

There are no signs of more federal stimulus checks, but the coronavirus pandemic has inspired a slew of targeted relief programs. One such program aims to provide stimulus checks to Black women in Georgia. This initiative is a guaranteed income pilot program that aims to address the racial wealth gap.


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Stimulus Checks To Black Women: What Is It?

The program, called In Her Hands, would give unconditional cash of about $850 per month for two years to 650 Black women. Under the program, Black women near or below the federal poverty line in urban, suburban, and rural Georgia will be eligible for the money.

In all, the program would cost about $13 million, and is supposedly among the biggest guaranteed income program in the U.S. The distribution of stimulus checks to Black women will start early this year.

The program will reportedly start in Atlanta, a city with massive income inequality. Initially, the program will launch in the city’s Old Fourth Ward in early 2022, and will expand to two more areas in Southwest Georgia and the Metro Atlanta suburbs. Martin Luther King Jr., an early advocate of guaranteed income, grew up in the Fourth Ward.

This program is being led by GiveDirectly, which is a nonprofit organization, and Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund, which is a group of local elected officials. Along with giving stimulus checks to Black women, the program will also study how the cash transfers are impacting the financial and mental well-being of the recipients.

Massive Need Of Such Programs

Such guaranteed income programs are extremely vital to address the income inequality issue in the country. A 2019 research study from the Institute for Policy Studies found that a median Black family in the U.S. owns around $3,600 in wealth compared to $147,000 for a median White family. In Georgia, about 26% of Black women live in poverty compared to 14% of White women.

Separately, recent research by the Old Fourth Ward Economic Security Task Force found that 46% of Black households earn below $25,000 a year. Further, the task force reports that about 38% of Black women and 26% of Black men in the city live in poverty, in comparison to 8% of white women and 5% of white men.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic crises have hit Black women harder, making them more vulnerable to job loss and eviction. There are reports showing higher hospitalization and death rates among Black people due to COVID-19 in comparison to Whites.

“Black women are among the most likely groups to experience cash shortfalls that make covering basic needs difficult,” the GRO Fund’s executive director, Hope Wollensack, said. “Guaranteed income is a step toward creating a more just and equitable economy.”

This program is in addition to Atlanta’s own basic income program that aims to support about 300 residents living below 200% of the federal poverty line.

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