When Michelle Lockhart was a teenager in Atlanta, she had to work two jobs — as a camp counselor and fast-food worker — to take care of her family.
She said her mother became disabled at that time due to a brain tumor, but it took months of cutting through red tape to qualify for desperately needed federal assistance.
If they had gotten more help then, “I could have focused on going to college and doing what people my age were doing: going to prom and enjoying their teen years,” Lockhart, now 41, told ABC News.
In the early months of this year, 650 Black women across Georgia — a demographic hit particularly hard by poverty — will get some of that help. Payments of $850 per month will roll out over the next two years in one of the biggest guaranteed income experiments in the country. Some participants in the $13 million initiative may receive lump sum payments totaling the same amount they would have received over two years. For now, the process of inviting and selecting participants is ongoing.
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