I Used to Work Two Jobs and Made $1400 a Month. With Guaranteed Income, I Can Spend More Time With My Kids.

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“Before the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, I was making about $680 every two weeks. Rent was my biggest monthly expense. … I had to work a lot of overtime before I started receiving MMT. Now I get to spend more time with my kids.”

Front and Center: ‘I’m Providing Childcare for Other People’s Kids, but I Don’t Have the Childcare I Need’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“I want to get back to school so I can level up in early childhood education. The challenge is being a single mom and needing to have someone there for my child when I’m not. … I’m providing childcare for other people’s kids, and at the same time, I don’t have the childcare I need to be able to do the stuff that I want to do.”

Front and Center: ‘Politicians Who Believe Guaranteed Income Programs Discourage People From Working Are Wrong’

Back for its third year, Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with my kids, but MMT has allowed me to say ‘yes’ more. … My son and I both have birthdays coming up and I told him we could plan something fun, maybe go out of town. I’ve never taken them out of town before.”

The U.S. Can Create True Wealth by Giving Cash to Parents Who Need It

In 2018, we launched the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, the United States’ first modern-day guaranteed income program and the first in the world to focus solely on low-income Black mothers. 

Our goal is simple: Provide the financial capital necessary for these mothers to dream a little bigger and breathe a little easier. We can give everyone that kind of wealth. And yes, I will play on the word here—we can guarantee it. If we are willing to understand, a little financial investment can change someone’s life, and allow them the flexibility, heart, and mind to build and define true wealth—equity, delight, honor and love. 

Front and Center: Single Mothers ‘Are Having to Work Two or Three Jobs and Beg for Help Just to Make It’

Back for its third year, Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“It feels like the people in power are boosting the cost of everything and it’s making it harder for us to survive, especially when there’s so little help out there. A lot of my family and friends are having to work two or three jobs and beg for help just to make it.”

Single Moms Receiving Guaranteed Income: ‘It’s a Relief to Know I Have That Extra Income Coming In’

Back for its third year, Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“I work from 8 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon everyday, and anytime there is something I can do to earn a little extra … I do it. … I receive $92 a month in SNAP benefits (food stamps), which is not nearly enough to cover my grocery bill for the month. And that’s why I’m so grateful for MMT—I can go spend cash on some groceries, and my baby and I are still good. Cash is more helpful than SNAP because I can buy groceries with cash, but I can’t pay bills with SNAP.”

Front and Center: ‘A Lot of Single Mothers Want to Work—They Just Don’t Have the Support or Family or Guidance’

Back for its third year, Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“There are a lot of single mothers around here who want to work and just don’t have the support or family or guidance in front of them. That lack keeps them in the same position. For some people, all they have is themselves. … To know that I have a back up and can worry less about having enough gas or having to call on my mom. Now that I have this income coming in, I can save a little bit more. I can try to preserve a little bit more. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Difference a Guaranteed Income Makes: ‘I’ve Been Sleeping Better. I’ve Been Eating Better.’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking series created in partnership with the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which aims to put front and center the voices of Black women who are affected most by the often-abstract policies debated at the national level.

“This is my first month being a part of Magnolia Mother’s Trust and it has already made a huge difference physically and emotionally. … I’ve been sleeping better. I’ve been eating better.

“To the politicians who say programs like the Magnolia Mother’s Trust shouldn’t be expanded because it’ll stop families from working, I want to say that there are people who are working, who want to better themselves, who are trying to move out of the unsafe apartment complex that they’re in, or start a business. These programs help with that.”

Front and Center: ‘We Need More Resources as Single Moms to Take Care of Kids’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking series created in partnership with the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which aims to put front and center the voices of Black women who are affected most by the often-abstract policies debated at the national level.

Yamiracle first shared her story with Ms. in 2022. While she was receiving funds through the Magnolia Mother’s Trust program, she was able to pay off debt and put a down payment on a car, but is struggling to navigate receiving any benefits from the traditional social safety net.

“Programs like the Magnolia Mother’s Trust don’t make people lazy—they make us feel like we have people who understand where we’re coming from and what it’s like to be a single mom trying to raise and take good care of our children.”

Front and Center: ‘We’re Working and Making Money, It’s Still Not Enough. Our Kids Are Going Without.’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking series created in partnership with the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which aims to put front and center the voices of Black women who are affected most by the often-abstract policies debated at the national level.

“The last time I applied for SNAP, they told me I made too much to qualify. So, I’m not making enough at work to be able to care for my people, and at the same time I can’t get food stamps? It doesn’t make any sense. … And what we do bring home goes toward rent. And just like the Rental Assistance Program, as soon as I’m making a little bit more money—boom, I’m paying the full amount of rent. So how can we ever save? How can we ever do better for ourselves?”