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While This Atlanta Area Program Is Giving Black Women $850 A Month For Financial Security, A Similar Initiative In San Fransisco Is Under Attack

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A program is helping a group of Black women restructure their finances.

Business Insider reports that the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund is behind In Her Hands, an Atlanta, GA-based guaranteed income program launched in 2022 that gives 650 low-income Black women $850 per month. What’s more, the selected women are supported by the program for two years.

Economic relief from the program was used by 45% of participants to pay their bills; almost 30% said they were able to store money for “rainy day” funds; and 27% used it to pay off debt, the outlet notes. Among the 650 participants is C. Harper, who, before enlisting in the program, faced trouble paying her rent. Now, with the help of In Her Hands, the Georgia resident was able to secure permanent housing for her family as well as earn a teaching certificate, which led to “a better job.”

According to the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund website, In Her Hands, a $13 million initiative, was launched as a way to provide Black women, who are disproportionately affected by financial insecurity, with direct monetary assistance that has “no strings attached.”

“Existing social safety nets often make it difficult for individuals to obtain assistance,” the website states. “Strict eligibility criteria, indirect or insufficient aid, and bureaucratic obstacles make it difficult for families to get the support that meets their needs when they need it most.”

It continues, “…We expect participants will be able to spend more on health costs for themselves and their families, pay down debt, and reduce caretaking burdens and trade-offs, which will, in turn, allow them to build income stability and economic security.”

In Her Hands features three Georgia communities: Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, Southwest Georgia’s Clay-Randolph-Terrell, and College Park. 

While In Her Hands has been successful, guaranteed income programs similar to it have been met with opposition from conservatives. According to The Bay Area Reporter, the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) filed a lawsuit in 2023 against San Francisco, CA, for its guaranteed income programs such as Abundant Birth Project, which provides pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women with $1,000 to $1,500 per month during their pregnancy — as these communities experience infant mortality at higher rates than other groups, according to the National Institutes of Health. The plaintiffs claim that such guaranteed income programs violate federal anti-discrimination laws. CFER was joined in the suit by Ruth Parker, a San Francisco resident, along with Ellen Lee Zhou, a former mayoral candidate, per The Bay Area Reporter.

“By relying on prohibited classifications to distribute government benefits, Defendants have violated the equal protection guarantees of both the United States Constitution and the California Constitution; they have likewise violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” the complaint read, according to the outlet. “The U.S. Constitution forbids public entities from engaging in intentional racial discrimination. And yet each of the programs described … is currently engaging in precisely the kind of intentional racial discrimination the Constitution forbids.”

In addition to the Abundant Birth Project, the suit listed other programs, Guaranteed Income for Trans People (GIFT), the San Francisco Guaranteed Income Plan for Artists, and the Black Economic Equity Movement (BEEM).

“San Francisco denies that the programs in question are unlawful or unconstitutional in any manner,” said Alex Barrett-Shorter, deputy press secretary for city attorney David Chiu, per The Bay Area Reporter. “We look forward to discussing these matters further in court.”





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