This week, Mayor Brandon Scott announced the launch of a $5.5 million Guaranteed Income pilot, in which Baltimore will pay $1,000 per month to 200 young parents, from 18 to 24 years old, for two years. OSI Director Danielle Torain and OSI Advisory Board Vice Chair Joe Jones, founder and CEO of the Center for Urban Families, co-chair the Steering Committee behind the pilot and joined Mayor Scott at the announcement.
For more context, read Mayor Scott’s op-ed in the Baltimore Sun and this more detailed piece in Baltimore magazine, which offers context about similar pilots in other cities, and the history of guaranteed income – which has a much more mainstream, successful history than you might think.
The guaranteed income pilot comes on the heels of the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program, in which OSI collaborated with the city and many community-based organizations to provide debit cards for Baltimore residents hardest hit by the pandemic to use for household essentials, including food.
“Baltimore’s predominantly Black and Latino working-class communities—already suffering from decades of institutional disinvestment—were among the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic and its economic fallout,” Torain said in a press release announcing the pilot. “Guaranteed income is a powerful people-centered way to address both the historic disinvestment and the more recent impact of COVID. We hope that by collaborating with communities and creating this pilot, we can create a lasting model to help pull people out of poverty and invite more public and private investment in these communities.”