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Pilot guaranteed income program giving people in Atlanta a positive outlook for the new year

The City of Atlanta plans to help financially vulnerable residents by giving away hundreds of dollars a month with no strings attached.

ATLANTA — Two days before 2022, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the launch of the income mobility program for Atlanta community transformation - or I.M.P.A.C.T.

In partnership with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, the groundbreaking program will give 300 Atlanta residents $500 per month for one full year with no strings attached.

Here are the requirements:

  • You must be an Atlanta resident
  • You must be18 years or older 
  • You must be living 200 percent below the federal poverty line. For a single person that means making between $13,000 to $25,000 a year or $53,000 thousand for a family of four.

Aside from this criteria, the recipients are randomly selected from a pool of applicants.

"At the end of the month, I have to save two paychecks to pay my mortgage," said Shanterria Holden. 

She's a single mother of two and one of the hopeful applicants. She is so disciplined she can quickly tell you where every dollar goes.

"I have a mortgage that is $858, a car note that is $362, insurance that is $276, I also have a Georgia Power bill is $168 and I also have a gas bill is $103, and my water bill fluctuates between $60-$80 dollars a month and my cell phone bill is about $170 a month," Holden said.

Credit: Provided

But only making $17 dollars an hour at her call center job is not enough to meet the needs of her little girls Skylar and Cadence.

"The program is probably going to do well overall in helping families and those in need," said financial expert Andrew Poulos, adding the program has the basis for making a difference.

He said receiving the funds for a year and having the additional resources provided by the Urban League like financial planning, homeownership programs and more can be a game-changer.

"Five hundred dollars extra a month can go a long way to help someone who is below the poverty line," Poulos said. 

He also noted that while many of the families who need these funds might not have enough to save and invest right away, it's still important to have a strategy and live on a budget.

"If someone just gives you a thousand or ten or twenty thousand dollars or any sum of money and you don't have a strategy to use that to be productive with that money then it’s only going to get you so far," he said.

Holden said if she's selected, there's no question about how she would use the extra $500.

"That money would be very helpful to get shoes, clothes, school supplies it would be a big help for me really," she said.

This is the link to apply:

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