Birmingham to launch guaranteed income initiative that supports mothers

Single mom answers emails and works on her website for her new startup business. She looks at her little boy as she works.

Birmingham City Council this week approved Mayor Randall L. Woodfin’s initiative to provide a guaranteed income to 110 Birmingham residents through monthly payments.

Embrace Mothers is a City of Birmingham pilot program in partnership with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a network of mayors advocating for a guaranteed income to give Americans a minimum income. On behalf of the city, Woodfin has made a commitment to join MGI’s efforts. The city received a grant of $ 500,000 to run the pilot project.

“I want to thank the board for working with me to make the Embrace Mothers pilot program a reality,” said Mayor Woodfin. “This is an opportunity to continue our commitment to innovative solutions designed to improve the economic situation of our residents. Women and mothers in particular are the core of our families and communities.

“By putting financial resources into households, we improve not only outcomes for women, but also for children and the community as a whole. I am proud that Birmingham is the first city in Alabama to adopt this approach in partnership with MGI.

Through this initiative, 110 Birmingham residents will receive $ 375 per month for a period of 12 months. Those eligible would be female heads of household looking after at least one child under the age of 18. Single parent households make up around 60% of all Birmingham City households with children.

Research on the pilot program would be conducted by MGI’s research partner, Abt Associates. Abt Associates will complete the application process, which is expected to begin within the next month, including the random selection of benefit recipients. The city will not be responsible for the selection of candidates.

Abt Associates will select 132 additional control group participants to participate in the pilot project. These people will not receive a guaranteed monthly income payment, but will be asked to complete surveys throughout the duration of the pilot project to help assess its impact. Participants in the control group will be remunerated for their participation in the research.

In addition to the $ 500,000 MGI grant, the city will provide up to $ 40,000 to support the administration of the pilot program through the Penny Foundation, a locally based nonprofit corporation. The East Lake Initiative, also a local nonprofit, will receive up to $ 10,000 from the city to provide integration counseling and individual benefits to beneficiaries of the pilot program.

A guaranteed income is an unconditional monthly cash payment made directly to individuals. It is unconditional, without work demands. The basic idea behind a guaranteed income is that everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs. A guaranteed income is intended to supplement, not replace, existing benefits.

Updates for the City of Birmingham’s Embrace Mothers Pilot Program and information on the application process will be available at

To learn more about Mayors for Guaranteed Income, visit

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