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Applications Open For Baltimore's Guaranteed Income Program For Young Families

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City is now accepting applications from young parents or caregivers for the Baltimore Young Families Success Fund, a pilot program offering a guaranteed income of $1,000 per month for over two years to 200 families.

The window for applications opened Monday at 6 a.m. and will remain open until Monday, May 9 at 11:59 p.m.

"This will allow young families to put money towards the things that they need the most food, clothes, transportation, medicine, housing, and so much more," Mayor Brandon Scott said. "Our residents know their own needs better than anyone else and are best suited to improve their own well-being."

Applicants have to meet the following criteria:

  • Be residents of Baltimore City,
  • Between the ages of 18 -24 years old at the time of the application deadline,
  • Be either the biological or adoptive parents, or guardians, must have full or partial care-taking responsibilities and
  • Have income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level based on their household size.

The mayor has allocated $4.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to be directly distributed to recipients.

Scott said the Mayor's Office of Children and Family Success saw positive results from a similar program that provided $400 prepaid cards to up to 15,000 households to cover the cost of basic needs during the pandemic.

"The Young Families Success Fund will be able to expand and enhance these outcomes and demonstrate a deeper impact among selected recipients," he said.

Danielle Torain, executive director of OSI-Baltimore, a group that partnered with the city on the pre-paid cards, said 95% of recipients were people of color and 63% were unemployed at the time they received support.

"Data show that recipients use the cards to buy groceries, to pay rent, to buy medicine, to pay bills, to essentially cover the expenses necessary to help them get through difficult times," she said. "These results really affirm what studies have really shown for years -- that given the resources to help themselves, people experiencing intense financial hardship really know how to best use them."

While the pilot is only running for a limited basis, Scott said the goal is to demonstrate the efficacy of a guaranteed income in the hopes a permanent program will be launched at the federal level.

"The end goal is for us to hopefully convince the federal government that this is something that we should do around the country, period, through the federal government. so that we are lifting those most in need -- not just in Baltimore, not just in Stockton, California, not just in St. Paul, Minnesota or Atlanta or D.C., but every single place in the richest country in the history of the world, where folks should not have to live and suffer the way that families and people have in our country," he said.

Multiple locations will offer potential recipients fill out the application. A full list can be found here.

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