Imagine this scenario: You're 16, maybe 17 years old. And you hear about a new program, sponsored by your city, that will give cash to kids your age. "Whoa! Pretty great," you say, "But what's the catch?"

A couple, actually. You can't go to school and you can't get a job.

It's real. And it's coming to New Orleans.

Aren't We Doing This in Shreveport, Too?

There was a bit of a furor recently right here in Shreveport when more than 20,000 folks in the city signed up to be one of 110 households to get $660 monthly for year, a program funded in a number of cities by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.

In most cases, the group is leaving it up to city mayors to determine qualifications for the cash. In Shreveport, applicants had to be a single parent, a city resident, have a school-aged child and earn below 120% of the Federal Poverty Level.

And Here's the New Orleans Plan

But in New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is doing it a little differently.

The city has received $500,000 from MGI and plans to target what they term "opportunity youth," i.e., young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who aren't working and aren't in school.

In a WWNO report, an official for the Cantrell's office says there is purpose to dishing out the strings-free money. "“The undergirding value of this whole program is trusting people to make financial decisions that are going to be in their best interest,”

Shreveport, New Orleans and Lots of Other Cities, Too

New Orleans is just one of several southern cities Shreveport included - launching their own MGI funded, guaranteed income program. Shreveport, New Orleans and the rest will distribute payments to specific demographics, including single parents, the homeless, people recently incarcerated and like New Orleans, young people not in school and jobless.

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