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More Than 8,000 Single Mothers in Birmingham Applied for Guaranteed Income

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The Birmingham Times

More than 8,000 single mothers in Birmingham completed an application for guaranteed income and 110 have been selected for a pilot program, the city announced this week.

The single mothers selected for the program will receive a guaranteed $375 monthly income for a year and are being contacted, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office said on Monday.

“In a very real sense, the volume of response was encouraging,” said Woodfin. “It demonstrates the strong desire of Birmingham’s single mothers to do all they can to support their families and seek out opportunities for greater economic stability.”

He added, “At the same time, the response to the Embrace Mothers pilot caused me to pause and reflect on the magnitude of the challenges single mothers face — and on the critical need for the city, along with partners throughout the community, to provide this and other programs in support of single moms.”

Embrace Mothers is a partnership with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a national network of mayors advocating to provide Americans with an income floor. The program awarded Birmingham a $500,000 grant for the pilot program, part of a nationwide research project to evaluate the impacts of guaranteed income on individuals and families.

Here is what applicants need to know:

  • If selected, individuals will be reached via the phone number or email address submitted on their application. It is too late to change the contact information.
  • Be sure to answer phone calls and email addresses regularly.
  • Individuals who are not contacted do not need to call. As a reminder, the City of Birmingham does not have the list of the applicants and cannot check participation status. Please allow the third-party time to make all notifications. Once completed, the website will be updated at birminghamal.gov/embracemothers.

Applicants have been randomly assigned to one of three groups by Abt Associates, the City’s research partner on the pilot:

  • Guaranteed income recipients: Mothers who will receive the monthly guaranteed income and are also eligible to participate in surveys every six months so that research facilitators can learn more about guaranteed income. These women will be compensated with a $30 gift card for each completed survey.
  • Control group participants: Mothers who are randomly assigned into the control group will not receive a guaranteed income through the program. They will be invited to contribute to the research project by completing a voluntary survey every six months for the duration of the program and compensated with a $30 gift card for each completed survey.
  • Non-participants: Applicants who are randomly assigned into this group will not receive a guaranteed income through the program and will not be invited to participate in any further research activities. Non-participants will not be contacted.

“What we are doing with Embrace Mothers is only a beginning, an initiative that should spark the question, in all corners of our city, What’s next?” Woodfin said. “We must continue to establish policies, enact programs, and build partnerships that enhance the dignity of individuals, help them optimize their value as members of the community, and create and perpetuate a climate for transformative economic, gender, and racial justice.”

More than 19,000 women at least started an application during the one-week application period that ended Feb. 7, a figure equivalent to nearly 100 percent of the city’s total population of single female heads of household.

Single women head 56.8 percent of all Birmingham households with children. In the City of Birmingham, there are 34,407 families that include at least one child under 18 years of age; of those, 19,554 are headed by single women.

For questions and updates, check birminghamal.gov/embracemothers or email embrace@birminghamal.gov.