Embrace Mothers

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Embrace Mothers was a 12-month pilot program to demonstrate the public benefits of providing a supplemental guaranteed income to residents. The program, which was operated between March 2022 and February 2023, provided $375 a month in supplemental income, without restrictions, to each of 110 participants. It was one of 20 such programs to be funded by $500,000 grants from Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a non-profit organization founded by Stockton, California mayor Michael Tubbs.

The Birmingham program was administered by the Penny Foundation, with participants onboarded by the East Lake Initiative and payments transferred via debit cards issued using the MoCaFi platform. It was targeted to assist single mothers who reside in Birmingham. Household income and immigration status were not considered. More than 8,000 people applied to participate, from which 110 were selected as beneficiaries and another 132 as control-group participants. The payment was reported as a gift, and the program offered benefits counseling to help determine whether it would impact recipient's qualification for other public benefit programs.

MGI contracted with Abt Associates of Rockville, Maryland to screen applicants, randomly select recipients, and study the program in operation. Abt also selected the control group of residents who were compensated for completing surveys about their household finances, but not provided with the monthly income supplement.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin was joined by former Shreveport, Louisiana Mayor Adrian Perkins for a roundtable discussion following a screening of the documentary "It’s Basic", presented as part of the Guaranteed Income Works national tour.


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