Shreveport opens applications for guaranteed income program

January 11, 2022 GMT

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A northwest Louisiana city has begun taking applications for a one-year program offering $660 a month to 110 unwed parents with low incomes.

It’s among many such projects nationwide to give people a guaranteed income and track the results.

“An estimated 25% of the citizens in Shreveport are living in poverty and a guaranteed income would empower recipients to address their most urgent day-to-day needs and unpredictable expenses,” Mayor Adrian Perkins said in a press release.

He is among more than 50 mayors around the country who have joined Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.

Each city in that group draws up its own program. For instance, New Orleans is offering $350 a month for 10 months to 125 youth. Columbia, South Carolina’s year-long program provides $500 a month to 100 Black fathers.

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In addition to Perkins, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and former Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, who just left office, participating mayors in the South include Keisha Lance Bottoms in Atlanta, Randall Woodfin in Birmingham, Alabama, and Chokwe Lumumba in Jackson, Mississippi.

Shreveport’s pilot program is a joint effort between the city, Caddo Parish and United Way of Northwest Louisiana, news outlets report.

The Shreveport Universal Basic Income Program targets single parents with an income below 120% of the federal poverty level will be eligible. Whether married or unmarried, the recipient cannot be living with a partner.

The application deadline is Jan. 17, and applicants can expect a response about three weeks after that, a news release said.

United Way’s Financial Empowerment Center is offering help with applications on weekdays except for Jan. 17, when the center will be closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.