A group of mothers in New York City is about to get a major financial helping hand with the launch of a new program.
The Bridge Project is giving mothers of infants and expectant mothers $500 or $1,000 per month for the next three years as guaranteed income.
The first group of 100 mothers began receiving payments starting last July. About half of those participants are Black and half are Latinx. One in 5 participants is undocumented. They all reside in Central Harlem, Inwood or Washington Heights in Manhattan.
The Bridge Project is recruiting a second group of 500 pregnant first-time mothers this April. They are targeting residents of East Harlem in Manhattan and the Central and South Bronx.
News of the advancement of the Bridge Project comes as the final monthly child tax credit payments from the federal government expired this month.
It is estimated that without that monthly child tax credit (worth up to $300 per child) as many as 4 million children could fall into poverty before February.
Many U.S. cities are experimenting with guaranteed income projects to help low-income residents, including nearby Newark, NJ, which announced a new phase of its pilot program in December.
More than $16 million in funding for the Bridge Project is provided by the Monarch Foundation, a private family foundation run by Holly Fogle and Jeff Lieberman.
The project hopes to help break the cycle of poverty by studying the effects of guaranteed income on the early days of a child's life in collaboration with the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania.