The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is looking to give expectant mothers a boost by paying them $1,000 a month.
Approximately 250 pregnant women in certain areas of the city will receive these funds through an initiative known as the Philly Joy Bank. According to the official website, this income pilot will guarantee income for pregnant women experiencing financial hardship. The program is a collaborative effort between the health department, Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health. On March 20th, Philly’s health department shared that generous donations from the William Penn Foundation and Spring Point Partners have pushed the program forward.
The National Institutes of Health reports that proper prenatal care, healthy environments, proper nutrition, and several other factors can decrease infant mortality rates. Sadly, Black infants in Philadelphia are over four times more likely to pass away before their first birthday than white infants, in many cases due to the lack of these necessities. The agency says this is a “solvable crisis” and hopes the funds will help mothers get proper resources for themselves and their children.
The $1,000 monthly payments are “no-strings-attached.” Mothers do not have to worry about paying the funds back. To qualify, all applicants must be Philadelphia residents in a household that brings in less than $100,000 annually. They must also live in either the Cobbs Creek, Strawberry Mansion, or Nicetown-Tioga neighborhoods, all of which have the highest rates of low birth rates in the city.
The program will commence in 2024.