By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.
Guaranteed income programs have gained popularity since the coronavirus pandemic. Several states and counties are experimenting with similar programs to help residents offset the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. New Orleans is the latest city to pilot such a program that offers stimulus checks to New Orleans youth. Under the program, eligible youths will get a monthly stimulus check of $350.
Stimulus Checks For New Orleans Youth
Earlier this month, The Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families revealed the details of the program. This program was initially announced in November 2021. The first payments under the program have already gone out to some of the selected recipients.
The primary objective of providing stimulus checks to New Orleans youth is to boost the financial stability of the recipients, connect them with work and school programs, and in turn, reduce stress and other financial insecurity factors.
“We launched this program as an opportunity to get much-needed, unrestricted cash in people’s pockets at a time where we know our people need it the most,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell noted.
Under the program, 125 young people between the ages of 16-24 will be selected. These people should neither be working, nor be in school. This program is being funded through a $500,000 grant from Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a private group supported by Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey.
Eligible recipients will get the money via a prepaid bank card, which will be provided by Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi). These prepaid cards will also work as passes to city recreation centers, as well as at public transit and public libraries.
Guaranteed Income Programs: How Do They Help?
According to the Mayor’s office, they are working with several organizations to recruit young folks for the program, including New Orleans Youth Alliance, Youth Empowerment Project, Educators for Quality Alternatives, Collegiate Academies, Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, New Orleans Public Schools and United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
Moreover, to ensure the efficacy of the guaranteed income program, the City of New Orleans will work with the Center for Guaranteed Income Research through the University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University. These organizations will help with the evaluation of the program’s results, using surveys and interviews of participants throughout the program.
“As one of the first MGI pilot cities to focus its cash payments on young people, New Orleans is helping to expand guaranteed income opportunities for young people across the country,” Sukhi Samra, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income Executive Director, said.
The guaranteed income program from New Orleans follows a similar no-strings-attached program targeting low-income residents in Shreveport. The Shreveport Guaranteed Income pilot program, which started earlier this year, is giving a monthly payment of $660 to 110 households for a year.
Initial findings of the guaranteed income programs from other cities show that such programs assist in improving the financial stability, health and overall well-being of the recipients.
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