Meet a mom of 2 who got $1,000 a month through a basic income program for a year — it helped her family pay their bills after an unexpected crisis

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McNair was part of Magnolia Mother's Trust, a basic income program in Jackson, Mississippi that provides $1,000 a month for a year to 100 low-income Black mothers.
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Kimberly McNair receives $1,000 a month for a year through a basic income program.
The program is currently serving 100 low-income black mothers like her in Jackson, Mississippi.
Most basic income programs are designed to help those who typically experience higher rates of poverty.
When Kimberly McNair was involved in a car accident last year, she didn't know how to pay for the damage.
McNair, 35, didn't have auto insurance. Your vehicle was totaled. Without insurance, she had to pay for a new trip out of her own pocket. Suddenly she was in debt for two cars.
"I need a car to get to work, buy groceries and pick up the kids from school," she told Insider. "So that didn't leave me a lot of other options."
McNair qualified to participate in the Magnolia Mother's Trust, a basic income program in Jackson, Mississippi that provides $1,000 a month for a year to 100 low-income Black mothers. Funded by a combination of individual and institutional donors, Magnolia has been giving since 2018 and is currently in its third cohort of mothers.
Basic income programs like Magnolia have gained popularity around the world in recent years, especially as the pandemic has taken a financial toll on many low-income households. Insider reported that as of the end of 2021, there were at least 33 currently or recently active basic income programs in the United States.
Basic income programs differ from traditional welfare programs in that they are unconditional: recipients can do what they want with the money and don't have to specify what they use it for.
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Programs like Magnolia specifically target low-income members of groups who typically face financial difficulties. California, for example, provides funding for programs targeting pregnant women and young adults exiting the care system. Another program in St. Paul, Minnesota is specifically helping parents financially impacted by the pandemic.
"The Magnolia Mother's Trust focuses on black mothers in extreme poverty for a number of reasons -- including facts showing that black women and children are more likely to live in poverty than any other demographic," said Aisha Nyandoro, who directs Magnolia. insiders said. "It's impossible to talk about economic justice without considering race and gender, but so much of our economic policies fail to embody it."
In addition to helping her pay for her car, McNair said the Magnolia funds are helping her pay for rent, groceries and supplies for her children. She said it also helps her deal with medical debt due to previous health complications.
"People struggle every day, even if they have full-time jobs," McNair said. "It's never enough to be able to do everything on your own. That’s where the money helps.”
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Basic income helped McNair replace her car and pay off medical treatment debt
McNair received $1,000 a month from Magnolia last year. She said the funds were vital, helping her get a car after her accident, pay for medical bills and even pay for her sons' youth football league.
McNair, who works at the local employment agency, makes about $36,000 a year. Before this performance, she worked in a call center and earned $30,000. That was usually enough to keep her and her two sons afloat, but she was hit with unexpected medical bills last year.
“I got sick a couple of times last year so I went to the hospital where I had to stay overnight. I've had episodes where I got sick and I didn't know where it came from," she said, adding that she currently owes about $6,000 in medical bills.
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She said the money from Magnolia helped cover a variety of her family's expenses. She pays for groceries with food stamps, but money from the basic income program means her family has more options — and her children can eat more than one portion more often.
McNair said that Magnolia allows her to plan extracurricular activities for her sons. They are both interested in football and she can use money for registration and equipment.
"The kids are growing so much," she said. "You buy clothes one week and the next they're too small. If you just make sure they have enough, like a decent pair of shoes and school supplies, the money is enough... Kids don't want to feel like they're people who don't have a life, people need an extra boost to make sure that Kids can eat out once a month and do something special to show them they are valued."
Read the original article on Business Insider

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