By Nicole Batey
Mayor Brandon M. Scott, local officials and strategic partners, stood outside the War Memorial Building on April 20 to announce the Baltimore Young Families Success Fund (BYFSF), the mayor’s guaranteed income pilot program.
Over the last year, a steering committee co-led by Joe Jones Jr., founder, president and CEO of the Center for Urban Families (CFUF), and Danielle Torain, director of the Open Society Institute – Baltimore (OSI), have been meeting to design the pilot program. The steering committee conducted public surveys and focus groups, including the input of individuals eligible for the program in the design process.
“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,” said Torain. “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.”
The BYFSF will provide 200 young parents, between 18 and 24-years-old, with an unconditional cash payment of $1,000 per month over 24 months to provide financial stability and reduce poverty.