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Guaranteed income program launched in Georgia to give $850 per month to more than 600 Black women

The program was announced by the Georgia Resilience & Opportunity fund.

ATLANTA — A new guaranteed income program in Georgia will provide more than 600 Black women across the state with $850 per month for at least two years, a community-based organization administering the program announced this week.

The program, called In Her Hands, will distribute out of a total fund of more than $13 million, the Georgia Resilience & Opportunity Fund (GRO Fund) said.

It will initially target 200 women in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, where City Council representative Amir Farokhi has been working to establish a pilot basic income program.

RELATED: 300 Atlanta residents to receive guaranteed income for a year after city approves pilot program

On Twitter, both Farokhi and the GRO Fund highlighted how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a native of the Old Fourth Ward, had once called for a guaranteed income.

"This initiative, designed with resident input, will transform lives & help us understand the personal & policy benefits of income stability for our most vulnerable," Farokhi wrote. "We'll look at mental health outcomes and employment and career choices, among others." 

The program's executive director, Hope Wollensack, quoted Dr. King in a tweet:

"In Her Hands initiative will not only provide greater economic stability for program participants but will generate much needed learnings on policies to advance an economy of shared prosperity," Wollensack added.

The monthly income will be no-strings attached, to allow "individuals and families to invest in what they need -  from providing for basic needs, to keeping a roof over their heads, to paying for medical care, to investing in their family and future - and maintain agency over their lives while doing so." 

There is no application process for the program - identified candidates are being invited to participate.

Funds for the program appear to come from a mix of private donors and sponsors as well as local and federal funds. 

GiveDirectly, a donation service, is continuing to accept contributions to the fund. As of Thursday morning, it showed nearly $10 million had been raised - enough so far to fund 429 incomes, with another 221 still in need of full funding.

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