Today, the City of St. Louis and program partners, including the Office of the Treasurer of St. Louis, United Way of Greater St. Louis, MoCaFi, and Ignite Cities, come together to announce that more than 6,000 payments from $500 was processed and distributed to residents, or over $3 million through the Direct Cash Assistance program. The total represents nearly 2/3 of the dollars allocated to the program, and initial analysis of card usage indicates that as of mid-February, top spending categories include groceries, utilities and other essentials.
“The City of St. Louis is trying new and innovative ways to support working families who have suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “These payments are helping thousands of families put food on the table and pay bills, and we continue to work with our partners to move funds as quickly as possible within guidelines set by the U.S. Treasury, the Council of Aldermen and municipal processes. ”
“We understand the significant impact direct program assistance can have on thousands of city residents and families by meeting basic needs like rent, food, transportation and childcare.” , said Michelle Tucker, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “We are proud to partner with the City of St. Louis and the Treasurer’s Office through this program to bring more resources and support to our community.”
“When the residents of the City of St. Louis speak, we want to make sure that we are working together as collaborative partners to build systems that respond in real time to real needs.” said Adam L. Layne, treasurer for the city of St. Louis. “This is just the first step, as we hope to see more residents take advantage of all other free resources available to support their financial stability, including but not limited to our free individual credit counseling and alternatives. high interest loans. .”
To keep to the distribution schedule as closely as possible, United Way of Greater St. Louis suspended the application portal to process and review applications submitted on December 22 after an incredible 10,000 applications were received in 4 days. The program will remain in effect until the funding for the 9,300 is exhausted.
Direct cash assistance is one facet of the US Federal Bailout Act’s $135 million direct relief program that Mayor Tishaura O. Jones signed into law in 2021 to improve public health, public safety and provide economic support to residents.