The City of St. Louis has started a program that will give households $500 a month for 18 months in order to assist low-income families. Mayor Tishaura Jones revealed that hundreds of city households will receive the funds, as per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
She presumes it will assist in reestablishing neighborhoods and preventing the root cause of criminal activity. “St. Louis’ guaranteed basic income will give hundreds of St. Louis families the resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty, giving them a strong foundation to grow and to thrive,” she said at a news conference.
The $5 million in federal pandemic aid for the city will be used for the program, which was authorized by the Board of Aldermen last year. Jones invited everyone interested to visit the website. In December, the city will begin disbursing the funds on debit cards, thus, applications will be accepted from October 23 until November 1.
While 440 families were initially intended to enroll in the program, St. Louis native Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, Square, and philanthropist behind #startsmall, is contributing $1 million to the program to add 100 more participants, for a total of 540 participants. This is made possible with operational support from the Deaconess Foundation.
St. Louis City clarified that in order to be eligible, applicants must be St. Louis City residents with a child or dependent under the age of 18 enrolled in a public school (St. Louis Public Schools or a public charter school).
Also, the applicant must either have a combined household income of less than 170% of the federal poverty line or have suffered financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, such as job loss, higher childcare costs, and so on.
“St. Louis is joining more than 30 municipalities across the country in trying this new, exciting way to financially empower families and lift them out of poverty,” Jones remarked.
Last December, Mayor Jones approved BB116, sponsored by Ald. Shameem Clark-Hubbard (10), to establish Missouri’s first Guaranteed Basic Income program.
“President Joe Biden’s expanded child tax shows how direct payments support families and help them afford the essentials, and our 2021 Direct Cash Assistance helped thousands of St. Louisans put food on the table and pay the bills. Now, we are taking the next step with STL Guaranteed Basic Income and are thrilled to have the support of St. Louis native Jack Dorsey to help even more families make ends meet,” she stated.