Montgomery County

300 Low-Income Families to Get $800 Per Month in Montgomery County Program

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A pilot program will give 300 low-income families in Montgomery County, Maryland, $800 per month.

“Create long-term economic benefits like going to community college to improve their job skills, buying a car to have access to a higher paying job that may not be accessible via transit, or eliminating old debt that would otherwise trap a family in a cycle of poverty,” Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando said.

The Montgomery County Council approved a $2 million appropriation to help fund the program.

“This work cannot and should not be done alone,” said Julian Haynes of The Myer Foundation.

The Myer Foundation is part of the public-private partnership that will also support the program. It contributed $1 million to start it.

“All of these outcomes not only benefit the guaranteed income pilot participants but the broader communities in which they live,” Haynes said.

The program is similar to ones announced in Arlington County and Alexandria. Supporters say results in other parts of the country show recipients are more likely to obtain full-time jobs and manage health care needs, disproving the notion that a guaranteed income is a disincentive to work and an incentive for vice.

“Only 1 percent was used on alcohol or tobacco, things that, you know, you wouldn’t necessarily want people to be using the money for,” said.

“People don’t have to worry about anybody living on $800 a month and not working,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said.

“We must trust their ability to make their own decisions on what is best for their families,” Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz said.

Who will get the money hasn’t been determined. There’s no application process, and the criteria is still being finalized, but 100 of those families will have experienced homelessness or are on the verge of it.

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