Program in Ga. offers low-income Black women extra cash for 2 years

Program is built to the help Georgians most impacted by poverty.
Program is built to the help Georgians most impacted by poverty.(WRDW)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 12:36 PM CST
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ATLANTA (WGCL/CBS46) - There will soon be hundreds of dollars available to Black women living in poverty in Georgia.

The Georgia Resilience and Opportunity (GRO) Fund is partnering with Give Directly to launch an initiative called In Her Hands. The program will give more than 600 low income Black women $850 each month for two years.

“I’m most excited about having a program that challenges a lot of what we know about the status quo,” said Hope Wollensack, the executive director for GRO.

The program is built to the help Georgians most impacted by poverty. As a result, the funding will initially be available to Black women living in Old Fourth Ward. The Atlanta neighborhood, where Martin Luther King Jr. once called home, has the largest concentration of Section 8 housing in the Southeast, according to data gathered by GRO.

Thirty-eight percent of Black women in Old Fourth Ward live in poverty, compared to 26% of Black men and 8% of white women.

“Black women face the brunt of economic insecurity in our economy,” Wollensack said. “When we support Black women, our entire community, our state and economy thrive.”

The pilot program was created after a 28-member task force, led by District 2 Councilman Amir Farokhi, investigated the root causes of economic insecurities. Farokhi said the goal of ‘In Her Hand’ is to understand how guaranteed income can improve a person’s life, offer stability, and translate those findings into policy.

“It’s a little different than a lot of our social programs we see today whether it’s stamp benefits for food or housing benefits that require a whole lot of bureaucratic hoops to go through that make it difficult to access those benefits,” Farokhi said. “Giving cash to people directly is the quickest way to create benefit for those individuals.”

While the program will initially launch in Old Fourth Ward, project leaders will also identify rural and suburban areas in Georgia where Black women can benefit from the extra cash. The program is being funded by private donations.

Give Directly is expected to start accepting applications for the program in early 2022. To learn more, click here. 

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