Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago launched a scheme to provide low-income families with a $500 monthly payment to foster an “equitable recovery” from COVID-19’s problems.
In a statement released Wednesday, Lightfoot, as well as Commissioner Brandie Knazze of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, announced the $31.5 million pilot program.
They dubbed it the “Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot.” It will provide $500 monthly payouts to about 5,000 households in Chicago for a year “to provide supplemental economic stability.”
Prerequisites For the Lottery
The program is one of several programs included in the city’s $1.2 billion “Recovery Plan,” which was established “to foster safe and vibrant neighborhoods and fair economic recovery, following COVID-19.”
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Lightfoot said in the statement she is dedicated to ensuring an equitable recovery from the pandemic to stabilize and protect the health of all people.
“The Chicago Resilient Areas Pilot enables us to provide dignified assistance to the households and communities severely devastated by the epidemic, while also building on our mission to reduce poverty.”
“I’m ecstatic to announce the nation’s largest financial aid program as we continue to give economic relief to individuals and improve our community.”
A lottery mechanism will administer the program. The city will accept submissions from April 25 until May 13 via GiveDirectly, a nonprofit administrator. The lottery will be held in late May.
A lottery candidate must be a Chicago resident at least 18 years old, have a family income of at least 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and have “faced economic hardship as a result of COVID-19.”
Each household may submit just one application, while all applicants who are confirmed suitable will be entered into the raffle.
The announcement stated the raffle was intended to take precedence for individuals who live at or below the Federal Poverty Level.
“Neighborhoods with previously existing economic hardship” are to align with the Chicago Recovery Plan’s equitable retrieval goal.
Ah yes, lets encourage people to resort to lotteries to get ahead financially. What could go wrong?
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Gas and Transport Cards
Lightfoot also said last week the city would start giving out gas and transportation cards to help poor communities deal with rising gas prices.
Lightfoot’s office released a press release announcing the launch of a new program dubbed “Chicago Moves.”
This is a government-funded effort that would provide “$12.5 million in relief assistance for Chicago’s most vulnerable residents.”
The press statement noted the initiative would include $7.5 million for $150 physical prepaid cards redeemable at local Chicago gas stations and $5 million for $50 prepaid cards redeemable on public transportation.
“The previous two years have been extremely trying for a large number of our people, particularly our most vulnerable individuals.”
“We have jointly endured tragedy as a result of the epidemic, and many of us have faced attendant economic difficulties,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
“As inflation continues to increase and gasoline prices continue to rise, our most vulnerable individuals are bearing a considerable financial strain.”
Chicago’s decision comes after a federal proposal to issue gas cards was rejected for a variety of reasons, including concerns about its ineffectiveness and cost.