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$18,000 of Philly Joy Bank’s Guaranteed Income Program Lowers Infant Mortality Rate 8.1% in High-Risk Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Guaranteed Income Program Boosts Birth Outcomes in High-Risk Neighborhoods

Philadelphia Launches $1,000 Monthly Payments for Pregnant Residents to Tackle Infant Mortality

Philadelphia has launched a new program called the Philly Joy Bank. It is aimed at improving birth outcomes for pregnant residents in high-risk neighborhoods. The city began offering $1,000 monthly payments this week to pregnant Americans in Cobbs Creek, Strawberry Mansion, and Nicetown-Tioga. These neighborhoods have some of the highest risk factors for poor birth outcomes in the city. According to the report by Axios, the guaranteed income program targets the city’s high infant mortality rate which is much higher than the national average. The guaranteed income program especially hopes to address the disproportionate impact on communities of color. Philadelphia joins other cities like San Francisco, Denver, and San Antonio which are also experimenting with guaranteed income programs to tackle issues like homelessness, poverty, and social inequities by providing these no-strings-attached payments.

The Philly Joy Bank will distribute these payments to 250 participants. Applications started on Monday and recipients will be chosen through a lottery every two weeks with the first payments set to begin in July. The guaranteed income program which is managed by the city’s Department of Public Health will run for three years. Each participant will receive 18 monthly payments which total $18,000. All applicants will have access to various free services in addition to financial support. These include lactation consultation, home visits, doula services, and financial counseling. The program manager named Nia Coaxum has highlighted that the objective is to support participants in meeting their fundamental requirements and achieving greater autonomy and dignity which will ultimately lead to better health outcomes. Philadelphia has had a high infant mortality rate for a very long time. The rate was 8.1 per 1,000 live births in 2018—about 40% more than the national average, according to the city’s 2020 report. Significant racial discrepancies were also noted in the research with black infants having a mortality rate that is more than double that of white infants.

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$18,000 of Philly Joy Bank’s Guaranteed Income Program Lowers Infant Mortality Rate 8.1% in High-Risk Philadelphia Neighborhoods (PHOTO: Daily Express)

Drexel University Studies Impact of Guaranteed Income on Families

Furthermore, proponents of the program contend that a guaranteed income policy can help pull families out of poverty by removing bureaucratic obstacles. Critics, however, are worried about the expenses, the possibility of greater dependency, and whether or not it will really make poverty worse. The Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University will assess its accomplishments in order to determine the program’s significance. The program’s viability and its impact on moms and families—including postpartum stress, financial stability, and parenting capacity—will be examined in this study. In order to foster healthier and more stable families in the city the overall goal of the Philly Joy Bank is to provide a lifeline to pregnant moms who are in need.

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