City of St. Louis, Partners Mark 6,000 Payments Disbursed Through Direct Cash Assistance Program

More than 6,000 payments of $500 have been processed and distributed to residents, or more than $3 million through the Direct Cash Assistance program.

February 18, 2022 | 2 min reading time

Today, the City of St. Louis and program partners, including the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office, the United Way of Greater St. Louis, MoCaFi, and Ignite Cities, are coming together to announce more than 6,000 payments of $500 have been processed and distributed to residents, or more than $3 million through the Direct Cash Assistance program. The total represents nearly 2/3 of allocated program dollars, and initial analysis of card usage indicates as of mid-February the top spend 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 the bills, and we continue to work with our partners to move funds as quickly as possible within the guidelines set by the US Treasury, Board of Aldermen, and city processes.”

“We understand the important impact the program’s direct assistance can have for thousands of City residents and families in helping with 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 get more resources and support into our community.”

“When City of St. Louis residents speak, we want to make sure we work together as collaborative partners to build systems that are responsive in real time, to real needs.” said Adam L. Layne, City of St. Louis Treasurer. “This is just the first step as we hope to see more residents take advantage of all the other free resources available to support their financial stability, including but not limited to our free 1-on-1 credit counseling and alternatives to high-interest loans.”

To adhere as closely as possible to the distribution timeline, the United Way of Greater St. Louis paused the application portal to process and review submitted applications on December 22 after an incredible 10,000 applications were received in a 4-day span. The program will remain in effect until funding for the 9,300 is exhausted.

Direct Cash Assistance is one facet of the $135 million direct relief package from the federal American Rescue Plan Act that Mayor Tishaura O. Jones signed into law in 2021 to improve public health, public safety, and provide economic support for residents.

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