ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a plan for St. Louis to move forward with a Guaranteed Basic Income cash assistance program.

Hundreds of St. Louis families may soon receive $500 payments each month through the new program. It is now pending approval from Mayor Tishaura Jones, less than a week after clearing committee procedures.

Based on the plan, the city would allot nearly $5 million in local pandemic recovery funds and distribute them to families in need in the form of $500 monthly payments. The program would offer assistance to more than 400 poverty-stricken households for 18 months.

The goal of the program is to help parents or legal guardians in St. Louis who have lost money because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have children in public schools in the City of St. Louis, and make less than 170% of the Federal Poverty Level.

“Today we demonstrate our commitment to St. Louis families and their children. No child’s education should be compromised because their living arrangements make it difficult to study,” said St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Megan Green.

“We rose collectively to the occasion today. I’m proud to have played a role in passing a bill that will directly impact working families in our beloved city of St. Louis,” said the bill’s sponsor, Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard.

Under the bill, the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office would oversee the distribution of ARPA funds to St. Louis City residents. The bill to launch the program also calls to allocate $13 million for the development and expansion of Federally Qualified Health Centers, $13.6 million for housing stabilization, and $6 million for youth & juvenile diversion programming.