One hundred fathers in a South Carolina city will be paid $500 monthly for two years as part of the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income program which was given a $15 million donation this week from social media giant Twitter.
By: Jared Leone | Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said the city received $600,000 as part of the donation from Twitter founder, billionaire Jack Dorsey, that will seed the Columbia Life Improvement Monetary Boost program, that will pay 100 fathers a $500 monthly stipend for two years, WLTX reported.
“We stepped up, decided to participate and, as a result, now it’s turned into a $600,000 award, which gets us almost halfway to our goal of raising $1.4 million — all privately,” Benjamin told WLTX.
The program in Columbia is expected to launch in 2021, the State reported. Participants, who will remain anonymous, will likely receive a debit card that is loaded each month, in order to track how the money is used. Participants will be selected through the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition.
“We want to really measure the impact of this program on the men who will be receiving the guaranteed income, and the impact we know they can have and will have on the surrounding communities,” Benjamin said.
The mayors group launched in June to advocate for a basic income. This week, the program was given the $15 million grant by Jack Dorsey, who previously donated $3 million to the program earlier this year. The project is based on an income floor program launched in 2019 by the city of Stockton, California.
“It’s a wonderful way to say, ‘OK, you’re doing the things that you should be doing, and this community wants to support you in helping you get there,’ and as a result, we will be benefiting our education, the ecosystem.
We’ll be working to create a safer community, your children will be given a chance to live up to their God-given potential and we’ll be laying out Columbia as what we believe it should be,” Benjamin said. “A city ought to be a platform for potential.”
Mayors from at least 30 cities have signed on to launch similar programs including in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle and Pittsburgh.