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Philly Joy Bank Grant Awarded

PHP has awarded a three-year program grant of $200,000 in support of the Philly Joy Bank — a guaranteed income pilot focused on addressing racial disparities in infant mortality and promoting healthy births and optimal childhood development.  

The Philly Joy Bank, a project developed by the Philadelphia Community Action Network (PhillyCAN), works to decrease risks for infant prematurity by improving the mental, physical, and financial health of pregnant people.

Among the ten largest cities in the US, Philadelphia has both the highest poverty rate and highest infant mortality rate — both of which feature profound racial gaps. Guaranteed income is a form of financial assistance that provides unrestricted, unconditional, and recurring payments directly to individuals, empowering recipients to use the money to meet their greatest priorities and needs.

Mother and Daughter
Photo credit: Monica Herndon, The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philly Joy Bank is one of a small number of guaranteed income pilots in the US focused on pregnant people that will take a neighborhood-focused approach to reducing very low birth weight and premature births.

Participants recruited to join the program will be pregnant people in their second or third trimester who live in one of three neighborhoods with the highest rates of very low birth weight births in Philadelphia: Strawberry Mansion, Nicetown-Tioga, and Cobbs Creek.

Mother and Daughter
Photo credit: Monica Herndon, The Philadelphia Inquirer

By providing $1,000 of monthly guaranteed income and voluntary support services to 250 pregnant Philadelphians during pregnancy and for 12 months postpartum, the Philly Joy Bank aims to improve participants’ financial stability and increase their dignity, power, and autonomy–strengthening their ability to address family needs, engage in health care, and experience reduced stress during and after pregnancy.

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