CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:

Together, we can end the COVID pandemic. Find out where you can get a vaccine at www.vaccine.gov.

For more information about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, contact the call center at 1-844-287-1250 or send an email to rentalassistance@specialkindofcaring.com.

Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

View More In This Section

All guaranteed income recipients have been selected and onboarded, and first payments have been issued.

The more than 8,000 applications for the Embrace Mothers guaranteed income program have been categorized by Abt Associates, and all guaranteed income recipients have been notified, selected, and onboarded. First payments have been issued. Control group participants will be notified over the next 30 days. (Updated 3/29/22)

This randomized control trial was launched earlier in February by the City of Birmingham in partnership with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a network of mayors advocating to give Americans an income floor. Through this program, 110 Birmingham residents will receive $375 a month for a 12-month period via random drawing by a third party and with no strings attached.

Info for Applicants

Again, all guaranteed income recipients have been selected, notified, and onboarded. Our research partner, Abt Associates, will now begin contacting control group participants.

  • If selected for the control group, individuals will be reached via the phone number or email address submitted on their application. It is too late to change the contact information.
  • Be sure to answer phone calls and email addresses regularly.
  • Individuals who are not contacted do not need to call. As a reminder, the City of Birmingham does not have the list of the applicants and cannot check participation status. Please allow the third-party time to make all notifications. Once completed, this page will be updated at birminghamal.gov/embracemothers.

Applicants have been randomly assigned to one of three groups by Abt Associates, the City’s research partner on the pilot:

  • Guaranteed income recipients: Applicants who will receive the monthly guaranteed income and are also eligible to participate in surveys every six months so that research facilitators can learn more about guaranteed income. These women will be compensated with a $30 gift card for each completed survey.
  • Control group participants: Applicants who are randomly assigned into the control group will not receive a guaranteed income through the program. They will be invited to contribute to the research project by completing a voluntary survey every six months for the duration of the program and compensated with a $30 gift card for each completed survey.
  • Non-participants: Applicants who are randomly assigned into this group will not receive a guaranteed income through the program and will not be invited to participate in any further research activities. Non-participants will not be contacted.

For questions and updates, review the Frequently Asked Questions below, check this page, or email embrace@birminghamal.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions | Research Pilot

What is Embrace Mothers and how is it funded? 

Embrace Mothers is a pilot program in partnership with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a network of mayors advocating for guaranteed income to give Americans an income floor. Mayor Randall L. Woodfin took the pledge to join MGI’s effort. The city received a $500,000 grant to execute the pilot. Additional funds from the City of Birmingham support the administration of the pilot.  

Research on the pilot program will be conducted by MGI’s partner, Abt Associates. 

What is a guaranteed income? 

A guaranteed income is a monthly, no-strings-attached, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no work requirements. The foundational idea behind a guaranteed income is that everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs. A guaranteed income is intended to supplement, not replace, existing benefits.  

Who is eligible to participate in the Embrace Mothers pilot? 

Those eligible are be female-identifying heads of family caring for at least one child under the age of 18. Single-mother households represent about 60% of all City of Birmingham households with children. 

 Embrace Mothers will only be available to City of Birmingham residents.

ELIGIBLE

  • Single mother, cohabitating with a friend/family member who is also a single mother
  • Single mother living with their mother and siblings
  • Foster mother with a child within their care during the application and onboarding period of the pilot
  • Single grandmother, aunt, cousins, or other female-identifying family member primarily caring for a relative’s child
  • Friend who is primarily caring for a friend’s child (because the parent is in rehab, incarcerated, etc.)
  • Mothers or women who are in a mothering role whose partners are incarcerated
  • Women who are not yet legally separated from a marital spouse but who are living independently as sole provider for a child

NOT ELIGIBLE

  • Male identifying single parents
  • Multiple family leads within one household environment
  • Single female caregivers with dependents 18 and older
  • Single female caregivers with dependents who live with another adult more than 50% of the time

How much money will be given? 

Residents selected to participate will receive $375 a month for 12 months. 

How many participants will be selected? 

110 people have been randomly selected by Abt Associates to receive a monthly guaranteed income payment.  

An additional 132 control group participants will be selected by Abt Associates. These individuals will not receive a monthly guaranteed income payment, but will be invited to complete surveys throughout the duration of the pilot to inform our understanding of the pilot’s impact. Control group participants will be compensated by Abt Associates for survey completion. 

Is there an income requirement to participate? 

There are no income or work requirements to participate.  

Is there a citizenship requirement to participate? 

No. Proof of U.S. citizenship is not required. Participants must live within the Birmingham city limits.

How can I apply? 

The application has now closed.

How are participants selected? 

Abt Associates maintains the pilot application and randomly selected participants.  The city does not have authority over the selection process and will not be privy to individual applicant data and information.  

Can I participate in Embrace Mothers and still receive other public benefits? 

Guaranteed income payments are classified as a gift. Pilot participation may impact some, but not all, of participants’ public benefits. Prior to committing to participating, all recipients will be offered benefits counseling to decide if participation is best for their specific situation.  

When will I find out if I am selected, and when will I start receiving payments? 

All guaranteed income recipients have been randomly selected by Abt Associates and notified and onboarded by East Lake Initiative. First payments have now been issued.

If you were not contacted and onboarded by East Lake Initiative, you were not selected as a guaranteed income recipient. You may still be selected as a control group participant. Abt Associates will reach out to individuals randomly selected for the control group over the next 30 days.

Guaranteed income recipients will receive 12 monthly payments beginning in March 2022, through February 2023.

 In what format will I receive my payments: cash, check, or debit card?  

The Penny Foundation is administering the guaranteed income payments on behalf of the city, in partnership with MoCaFi. Guaranteed income recipients received a Mastercard-backed MoCaFi debit card that will be loaded with $375 per month for 12 months. The card can be used anywhere debit cards are accepted, including ATMs that accept Mastercard (fees may apply). No-fee ATM withdrawals will be available at all Wells Fargo ATMs and AllPoint Network ATMs (such as Dollar General, CVS, Rite Aid, 7 Eleven.) 

 Will participants’ identities be publicly disclosed? 

The program will not disclose the identities of the participants publicly. 

Frequently Asked Questions | Application

I didn’t get a confirmation email or text. Did you receive my application? 

When you finished the application, you should have seen a submission confirmation screen. It included the following message: “Thank you for taking the survey! If you are randomized into the intervention group someone from East Lake Initiative will contact you with more information. If you are placed into the control group, please expect to hear from Kim Hannon at Embrace Mothers.” 

 If you provided an email address in the application, you should have received an email from MGIstudy@abtsurvey.com with the subject: Embrace Mothers pilot program – You have successfully submitted your application!  

 If you did not receive that email, please check your Spam folder. You will not receive a submission confirmation by text. 

I successfully submitted my application. What happens now? 

  1. Independent researchers at Abt Associates reviewed all the applications to make sure there were no duplicates and that entries meet Embrace Mothers eligibility criteria. 
  2. Then Abt Associates randomly sorted the eligible applications into three different groups to make sure there is no bias in who is assigned to each group: 
    1. Guaranteed income recipients: people who will receive the monthly guaranteed income and will be eligible to participate in surveys every 6 months so we can learn more about guaranteed income. They will be compensated with a $30 gift card for each survey that they complete. This group has been selected, notified, and onboarded. 
    2. Control participants: people who are randomly assigned into the control group will not receive a guaranteed income through the program. They will be invited to complete a voluntary survey every 6 months for the duration of the program. They will be compensated with a $30 gift card for each survey that they complete.  This group will be contacted over the next 30 days by Abt Associates. 
    3. Non-participants: People who are randomly assigned into this group will not receive a guaranteed income through the program and will not be invited to participate in any further research activities. 

How will I know if I’ve been chosen to participate? 

All guaranteed income recipients have been selected, notified, and onboarded. First payments have been issued.

If you have been selected to participate in the control group, a member of the Abt Associates research team will contact you. 

I haven’t heard from anyone. Does this mean I haven’t been chosen? 

You may still be notified to participate in the control group. We will update this website once all control group participants have been notified.

If you have not been contacted by the time the website says we have finished notifying participants, assume you have not been selected to participate. 

Why won’t I get a notification if I am NOT selected? 

The information you shared in the application can only be used for research purposes. This means Birmingham is not allowed to have access to the data for non-participants, so we can’t contact you if you haven’t been chosen to participate. Check the website to stay up to date on the notification process.