ATLANTA (AP) – Atlanta city leaders are planning pilot programs that will give money directly to small groups of low-income residents in the hope of lifting them out of poverty.
The idea behind guaranteed income programs is to reduce poverty, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Pilot projects have been launched in cities from Los Angeles and Stockton, Calif., To Columbia, South Carolina, the newspaper reported.
In Atlanta, the initiatives were led by outgoing Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and city councilor Amir Farokhi, the newspaper reported.
One of the programs is expected to be launched by the end of 2021. It will provide $ 500 per month to at least 275 low-income beneficiaries for a year.
“What we do know is that $ 500 for a family that lives below the margins, in terms of income and poverty levels, can be life changing,” Bottoms said.
The other program will initially target the Old Fourth Ward. Farokhi said this effort will be focused on black women as they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
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“The big promise here is that people actually know how to best spend their money,” said Farokhi, who co-founded a task force that studied guaranteed income.
Skeptics say the concept could be counterproductive when implemented on a larger scale. Others warn that this could cause people not to work.
But Bottoms rejects such criticism.
“It’s not about handing people a check to stay home,” Bottoms said in a recent interview. “It provides people with resources to help take care of their families, to fight food insecurity, to help people afford to live in the city of Atlanta.”
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