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Birmingham area single parents to receive payments in new program

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Alabama’s first-ever guaranteed income program launches today. The City of Birmingham is piloting a monthly stipend program for single mothers. One-hundred and ten female heads of family will receive three-hundred and seventy-five dollars a month. The program is funded by a half million dollar grant from the group Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. Sarah McMillan is with the city of Birmingham. She says the program is inclusive of all single female caregivers.

“We understand that single mothers don’t always include people who are just in the biological mother role,” said McMillan. “Single mothers, in this case, could be a biological mother, it could be a foster mom, it could be an adopted mother, it could be a grandmother, it could be a niece, it could be a friend.”

Single biological mothers, foster mothers, grandmothers and adopted mothers are all eligible for the payments. One factor that influenced the creation of the payment program is COVID-19. McMillan says single mothers have been particularly affected by the pandemic.

          “The pandemic has erased a generation's worth of gains for women in the workforce. We’ve lost more than 1 million jobs than men in 2020 and this pandemic has dramatically affected what it means to be a woman in the workforce, what it means to be a mother. We’ve seen women having to choose between their career and their family,” McMillan said.

Shreveport is another city taking applications where one parent families can get six hundred and sixty dollars a month for a year. The Louisiana community is offering a one-year program offering six hundred and sixty dollars a month to one hundred and ten unwed parents. Municipal leaders in Atlanta, Jackson, Mississippi, and Columbia are also participating.

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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