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$13M ‘In Her Hands’ Initiative Empowers Struggling Women With Guaranteed Income In Georgia Communities

The Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund’s “In Her Hands” initiative offers guaranteed income for women who are struggling financially.

According to GRO’s website, the income program, in partnership with Give Directly, provides an average of $850 in cash to women in three Georgia communities: Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, Southwest Georgia’s Clay-Randolph-Terrell County, and the City of College Park. The program, which was formed through direct community input, aims to address economic insecurity among women of color.

“The gap between dwindling paychecks and making ends meet for Black women has historically been larger and deeper than most other populations,” the initiative’s page states. “In Her Hands is a guaranteed income initiative focused on putting a solution to financial insecurity directly in the hands of women in Georgia. No strings attached.”

Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund Executive Director Hope Wollensack told Fox 5 that the fund helps women like Shamarra Woods, who had exhausted all of their financial possibilities.

“I only had enough to pay rent and bills. [There was] not enough for food or gas,” said Woods. “One of my career aspirations is to be a project manager and restart my business. But with inflation, I’ve been considering working more to offset expenses.”

The guaranteed income program launched in 2022 and secured the name “In Her Hands” as a salute to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King.

“The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain…” GRO quoted from King’s 1967 speech. According to Stanford University, the “Where Do We Go From Here?” speech was given in Atlanta as Dr. King advocated for guaranteed income.

“The power when you put cash in the hands of women, the impact it can have on their life to enable choice and agency, the impact it has on the lives of their children and community,” are all drivers of the program, Wollensack told Fox 5 in 2022.

BLACK ENTERPRISE recently reported that a new study by Goldman Sachs reveals that Black women in the U.S. face financial circumstances due to workplace disparities. The “Money Matters: One Million Black Women Economic Mobility Survey” found that 40% of Black women in the United States have annual household incomes under $50,000.

Fox 5 reported that applications for the next cohort will open next April for women of the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods who make up to 200% of the federal poverty line.

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