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Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, Treasurer Adam Layne, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Partners Outline $500 Direct Cash Assistance Process Ahead of Applications Opening on Saturday

ST. LOUIS – Ahead of the applications for $500 Direct Cash Assistance opening on Saturday, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, Treasurer Adam Layne, and partners offered an update on the $500 direct cash assistance program for 9,300 St. Louis residents ahead of the program’s application opening on December 18. Together, they re-emphasized the importance of double-checking eligibility on the city’s website, preparing documentation ahead of the application portal opening, calling ahead for in-person assistance ahead of Saturday’s application event, and the bold step St. Louis is taking to get thousands of residents the support they need.

These $500 payments will help 9,300 St. Louis families put food on the table and pay the bills,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “Whether it’s paying off a water bill or enrolling in child care, investing money directly in working families and our communities benefits our entire city to make us stronger and safer.”

The United Way of Greater St. Louis will be holding an in-person event this weekend to assist those without internet access, seniors, and people with disabilities in applying. The in-person event will be held on Saturday, December 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at St. Louis Community College – Forest Park Student Center located at 5600 Oakland Avenue. Appointments can be made now through Friday, December 17, at noon by calling 1-866-948-3742. Walk-ins are not encouraged. Each appointment will be approximately 30 minutes, and the event can accommodate up to 720 appointments. 

“The impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating for many. The Direct Cash Assistance program will provide individuals and families access to basic needs, like food, shelter and keeping their homes warm as we approach the winter months,” said Regina Greer, chief impact officer of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “United Way of Greater St. Louis, through its 24/7 helpline, programs, partners, and services is committed to helping local people navigate this challenging time and connect to available resources in their community.”

Studies have shown that direct cash assistance and similar universal basic income programs lift families out of poverty. The expanded federal Child Tax Credit, implemented in July, has lifted 10 million children out of poverty. Municipalities like Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Cook County, have implemented similar programs to the one in St. Louis as well.

“In order to deliver the immediate support needed in our communities, we must rethink everything and challenge everyone,” said George Burciaga with IGNITE CITIES. “Mayor Jones embodies that approach, as she and her team accelerate the delivery of relief funding to residents and the technology needed to facilitate it. Our partnership with mayors across the country, like in St. Louis, is an illustration of the blueprint we have forged to ignite change for the lives of residents with strong public-private sector collaboration.”

City residents of at least 12 months who are at or under 80 percent Area Median Income (AMI) and who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be eligible to apply for the program when applications open. Applicants must be a resident of the City of St. Louis at the time of application and must show proof of residency 12 months prior to the date of the application. Only one individual per household will be eligible for a payment, with priority given to heads of household. A full list of eligibility requirements and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the City website, and incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applicants who are approved can choose to receive the card via mail or electronically.

“Ensuring the rapid and secure deployment of necessary aid to communities in need during times of crisis has never been more important as the world continues to navigate an unrelenting pandemic amidst recurring natural disasters,” said Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President of Strategic Growth for Mastercard. “In bringing our insights, tools, and investments to bear we can aid the City of St. Louis – home to many of our Mastercard colleagues -in progressing key efforts toward an equitable and inclusive recovery. And as we look ahead to the new year, we must remain focused on the revitalization of our cities, neighborhoods and communities by bringing public and private stakeholders, business owners and residents from across St. Louis together in action toward an economic foundation that serves all city residents.”

The $5 million for the Direct Cash Assistance program is one portion of the $135 million in American Rescue Plan dollars Mayor Jones is investing directly into our communities, improving public safety, public health, and getting families the support they need during difficult times. The final package was informed by more than 2,500 comments from the public and multiple community feedback sessions.

In 2015, the City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office launched our largest and most ambitious financial empowerment program to date: the College Kids Children’s Savings Account program.

Every kindergarten student in a St. Louis public school receives a savings account from the Treasurer’s Office with a $50 deposit. Families can watch the account grow through efforts and incentives such as matched savings, attendance bonuses, and parent participation in financial education courses.

Research shows that children with less than $500 saved are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate from college than children without college savings accounts.

The money for College Kids comes from residual parking revenue and charitable donations. So, if you have ever received a parking ticket, parked at a meter or in one of the city owned garages in St. Louis, you helped send a kid to college!

For more information please visit: http://stlcollegekids.org

For common payroll questions, including garnishments, child support, and more, please click here.

Information and resources to increase Financial Literacy

 The City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office is a key resource for bringing forth programs and new ideas to improve the quality of life of our citizens. One of these programs is financial literacy.  Simply put, financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works. But financial literacy isn’t just about balancing your checkbook or knowing how much money you have in the bank. Financial literacy is about planning for the future.  Being financially literate can help you save money for a down payment on a home, save for your child’s college education, or have money saved for emergencies so you don’t need payday loans or other predatory lending companies. When you know how to manage your money, you can make better choices about your future.  The Treasurer’s Office is committed to helping city residents become financially literate and learn how to confidently manage money. Our plans include helping city residents improve their overall financial health by warning them about the dangers of predatory lending, decreasing the percentage of families that aren’t using banking services, and helping people craft budgets that teach them how to live within their means.

For the official Office of Financial Empowerment website: click here

About The Treasurer

Treasurer Adam Layne was appointed in April of 2021 to succeed the former Treasurer, Tishaura O. Jones, after winning a historic election as St. Louis’ first female Black Mayor. A familiar name, many came to know Treasurer Layne from his service as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office. Layne proved to be an especially valued asset amidst the economic challenges of the pandemic as he worked tirelessly throughout 2020 to improve systems and deepen community engagement with the work of the STLTO. One of his most notable efforts include his leadership and launch of the Parking and Towing Assistance Program (PTAP), a program that creates payment plans for St. Louisans with multiple fines, allowing them to freeze their fees, pay off their balances in smaller amounts, and climb out from under the financial burden without getting their cars booted or towed.

Treasurer Layne joins the STLTO as an experienced elected official as he finished first in his 2019 race for the St. Louis Public School (SLPS) Board. During his time on the Board of Education, Treasurer Layne advocated relentlessly for every school to be a quality school, while always centering equity and seeking to dismantle historically oppressive systems. One of his greatest successes was creating and chairing the Standing Committee on Budget Equity & Transparency.

Having established his professional career in 2011 as a SLPS high school math teacher, Treasurer Layne went on to develop, lead, and direct the high school support and college access program at InspireSTL (2017), where he was later sought out as an independent consultant to develop, design, and implement curriculum and diversity training for organizations in St. Louis and across the nation. An avid writer, he launched his own nonprofit program, The Young Griot Society, which seeks to increase youth literacy through their love for creative writing. In 2019, he joined Washington University as a research associate, supporting the launch of the Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

A proud graduate of the George Washington University School of Business, Treasurer Layne received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and went on to earn a Master of Education from University Missouri St Louis.

Treasurer Adam L. Layne

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