A new program in Alexandria will give $500 a month to low-income families

A new program in Alexandria will give $500 a month to low-income families

 A new program in Alexandria will provide several hundred dollars in cash per month to low-income families.

It was called the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program and was led by the Mayor of Alexandria, Justin Wilson.

Starting November 1, the city will give out $500 a month for two years to 150 families. These households are likely to lie just above the poverty level, making up about 30-40% of the median income in the region.

The goal is to provide a different kind of government assistance that local officials hope will be beneficial in the long run.

“There is a lot of a paternalistic mentality that we use in these programs. It has to be spent on certain things, and in many cases, that is the kind of needs that these families need, but in many cases, it is not. I think allowing people to use that money in a way that benefits their families maybe it will be more impactful, but we will see,” Wilson said.

The city of Alexandria will use the $60 million it received from the US bailout to fund the program.

“If people need help, they need help, and that will help them feed their families. But at the same time, I wonder if you keep getting more and more money, what incentive is there to get yourself out and get better jobs?” said Kira Abraham, A resident of Alexandria.

“I hope that they will push the money forward and become this beautiful program and develop and use more people and bring people out of poverty. I think that is the goal of a lot of programs. It is not always possible to go on like this, but I think it is a great idea,” Hemar Sanchez said, A resident of Alexandria.

The city will select pilot beneficiaries by working with nonprofits and other benefit programs to see who fits the need. Much of the pilot is studying data and results to see if it can work long-term.

“If we can get families out of poverty and help them become more resilient, we will ultimately spend less. It will be less for the taxpayer,” Wilson said.

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