Black women in Georgia will receive guaranteed monthly income to improve their mental health and address the racial wealth gap.

Yahoo News reports, the In Her Hands program will grant 650 Black women below the federal poverty line $850 in monthly cash with no conditions attached for two years. In Her Hands will become one of the largest guaranteed income pilot programs in the U.S distributing over $13 million in funding by early 2022.

“Black women are among the most likely groups to experience cash shortfalls that make covering basic needs difficult. This isn’t the result of poor choices; it’s the result of pervasive economic insecurity that has the sharpest impacts on women and communities of color,” Hope Wollensack, executive director of the GRO Fund, said in a release, according to Yahoo News. “Guaranteed income is a step toward creating a more just and equitable economy.”

The Program Will Study The Financial And Mental Status Of Black Women

The income pilot program is headed by Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund- an Atlanta-based coalition centered on racial injustice- and nonprofit GiveDirectly. The program will examine how unrestricted funding impacts the financial standing and mental health of Black women living in Atlanta and other parts of suburban and rural Georgia.

Atlanta is marked as the second largest city with the greatest income inequality gap, according to a 2020 report from U.S. News & World Report.

This most likely explains why the program will launch first in Atlanta targeting Martin Luther King Jr.’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. A full-turned moment as the civil rights leader often advocated for the idea of guaranteed income here, The Atlantic reports.

The Program Is Timely

The new program will be very timely as Black women have experienced various hardships due to the pandemic. In fact, prior to COVID-19, Black women had already experienced an employment drop of 6 percent, the largest among all groups according to a U.S. News & World Report. Therefore the new income pilot will provide Black women the financial support they need and rightly deserve.