Exiting poverty possible with money for nothing?

Exiting poverty possible with money for nothing?

The head of a Mississippi pilot program shared some benefits of giving $1,000 a month to 20-African American mothers. The money is given to these mothers not just to meet ends-meet but to get out of the curse of poverty. Aisha Nyandoro is the head of the Springboard to Opportunities grassroots group.

The group is trying to deal with affordable-housing residents in Jackson, Miss. She was speaking at the Chicago Community Trust Thursday on the Magnolia Mother’s Trust program that grew out of the agency. The Economic Security Project bankrolls the project which gives $1,000 a month to 20 African-American mothers. Nyandoro says that the goal of the project is to help these mothers get out of poverty by providing them the resources for it.

Nyandoro says that it is virtually impossible to get out of poverty because the benefits are so little. Ameya Pawar, the founder of One Illinois, says that “This is an American thing.” Pawar added, “This is what we are really good at, which is putting up barriers and making it really difficult for people to access the benefits that they deserve.”

Nyandoro and Springboard to Opportunities have raised issue of the ‘barriers’ that is erected by the society that “prioritize the perceptions of fraud and abuse over human needs.” Nyandoro says that there is a lack of trust shown to the people about what they need. She had discovered while working at the agency that “we were not seeing our families exit poverty.”

She says that people need cash and we need to trust them with it. She cited a few incidents where lack of cash affected the lives of numerous women. “It’s hard to be poor,” Nyandoro said. “There are a lot of pieces you have to negotiate.” She says we need to give the poor the money and remove the stigma that comes with the stereotyping.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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