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Cash for low-income Baltimore parents pilot begins

Baltimore City Hall.
Courtesy of Evergreene Architectural Arts
Baltimore City Hall.

A cohort of 200 Baltimore parents will get $1,000 each month as part of a pilot program known as “guaranteed income” for the next two years. The cash payments are being dispersed this week to low-income parents between the ages of 18 and 24 years old who were randomly selected from applications. City residents who are responsible for children and who earn at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level were eligible.

For a family of four that's up to $83,250 of household income.

There are no requirements on how the money should be spent “because they know what their families need to ascend the ladder of opportunity,” said Mayor Brandon Scott in a news release.

The parents will participate in a research study conducted by Abt Associates, Johns Hopkins and the Center for Guaranteed Income Research to explore the impact the basic income might have on the family. Some recipients of the funds will participate in storytelling to share their experiences while others will submit surveys and do interviews with researchers. A separate group not selected for financial support will be the control group to study the impact of the program.

The non-profit CASH campaign will administer the program which includes wrap-around social services meant to uplift the families interested in economic upward mobility.

The city earmarked $4.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the program.

Kristen Mosbrucker is a digital news editor and producer for WYPR. @k_mosbrucker
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