Guaranteed income programs are spreading across the US as a new city prepares to give away tens of millions of dollars to people who need help to make ends meet.
Rx Kids is a five-year, $55 million program designed to give financial assistance to all expecting mothers living in Flint, Michigan.
The project, which aims to break the cycle of poverty, will dole out an initial lump sum payment of $1,500 to participants during their pregnancy to spend on items such as food, prenatal care and rent. After the pregnancy, they will collect $500 each month to support the newborn for one year.
The signup process began on January 10th and is still open at time of publishing. Applicants must be at least 20 weeks pregnant and provide proof including an ultrasound photo. They must also provide documents that show their identity and residency in the city of Flint, Michigan.
The program is funded using both public and private funds. So far, Rx Kids has raised enough cash to keep the program running for at least three years.
According to Rx Kids, the effort can significantly improve the lives of both the mother and the baby.
“Cash is proven to work – especially in the hands of new moms.
Hundreds of studies show that unconditional cash transfers can be life-changing across countries and contexts. Mothers and babies are no different, and early intervention is shown to have sustained health and development impacts years after cash is delivered.”
Mayor Sheldon Neeley tells the CBS-affiliated news station NewsChannel 5 that Rx Kids is an investment in the future of the city.
“Investing in strong families is an investment in Flint’s future. This universal basic income program will lift families out of poverty and improve health outcomes.
Our prayer is that we will improve maternal and infant health, and help Flint families raise strong, healthy babies.”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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