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Mothers who live in certain low-income areas throughout Manhattan could be eligible to receive some extra financial support on behalf of The Bridge Project. The new guaranteed income program will give mothers and expectant moms anywhere from $500 to $1000 per month for three years.

Back in July 2021, the program began doling out income support to 100 mothers located in the Central Harlem, Inwood, and Washington Heights neighborhoods of Manhattan. According to CNBC, half of the eligible candidates were Black, and half were Latinx. One in five were “undocumented.”

The project will begin scouting for the second round of candidates come April, and this time, the money will be available to “500 pregnant first-time mothers,” CNBC noted. Eligible moms from East Harlem and the Central and South Bronx area will be considered. Families must also have an annual household income of $52,000.

The Bridge Project hopes the unconditional cash will help break the cycle of poverty prevalent amongst low-income communities in the city. As the pandemic continues to weigh on with no end in sight, the new initiative also serves as a way to help struggling mothers with additional income during this rough period. At the height of the pandemic back in March, Black women felt the brunt of the virus’s impact on the economy. Nearly 11,000 Black women left the workforce due to employment shrinking and the pandemic’s uncertainty.

“Not only do Black women work in childcare, but they also are more likely than other groups of women to be the sole provider in their households, which means child care becomes ever more important,” Chandra Childers, director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research told Marketplace. “Industries like leisure and hospitality, state and local government and child care have been slower to bounce back,” Childers added, noting how Black women are frequently employed by these industries.

According to the Brookings Institute, the pandemic presented several unprecedented challenges for Black and Brown moms who struggled to balance work and family needs after working double shifts for both paid and unpaid work. As schools closed, struggling moms were also challenged to find alternative child care for their kids and were rarely able to take time away from work. The extra cash comes at a great time, considering the child tax credit’s expiration this month, which provided mothers with payments of up to $300 per child.

The Bridge Project’s no strings attached approach to financial assistance mirrors Georgia’s In Her Hands program, established last year in December. As previously reported by Madame Noire, the initiative aims to support more than 600 Black women with $850 per month for at least two years, according to the organization’s website.

In Her Hands was spearheaded by the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund (Gro Fund), which comprises a group of local elected officials and nonprofits. The program is powered by GiveDirectly, an organization that allows donors to give money to poverty-stricken families across the globe.


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