A program begun in early 2022 to provide a solution to financial insecurity kicked off in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. This is the neighborhood in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, grew up and later preached about guaranteed income. The name of the guaranteed income initiative was inspired by a 1967 speech by the civil rights legend on the subject.

The ‘In Her Hands’ program expanded to include over 200 Black women across the Clay-Randolph-Terrell county cluster in rural southwest Georgia and then another cohort in the City of College Park. The no-strings-attached payments provide over $20,000 during a two-year period to around 650 eligible women and applications will soon be accepted for a new group of participants.

Program provides monthly payments of $850 to women: when does it start and how to apply?

The next cohort that will be eligible to apply for the program must be residents in the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods. The date for applications to be submitted has not been announced yet, but will begin in April 2024 according to FOX News 5 in Atlanta. Those who are looking to apply or seeking more information for themselves or a loved one, can sign up to receive updates.

The program is directed at Black women who “are among the most likely group to experience cash shortfalls that make covering basic needs difficult,” according to the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity (GRO) Fund which launched the program in conjunction with non-profit organization GiveDirectly.

This economic insecurity is the result of “systemic barriers like pay inequality and fewer economic buffers than nearly any other demographic in Georgia.” Applicants must earn no more than 200% of the federal poverty level and live within the defined neighborhoods.

Half of the more than 650 current participants receive an average of $850 per month for 24 months while the other half first get a lump-sum payment of $4,300 and then $700 per month for 23 months. Early data from the initiative shows that it has already had proven impacts for the women and their families.