WASHINGTON (WDVM) — DC Mayor Muriel Bowser is launching a Direct Cash Assistance Program for new and expectant mothers, providing a $1.5 million grant for a pilot program, Strong Families, Strong Future DC.

The launch took place at Martha’s Table at 11:30 a.m. To view it live click here.

This program will be intended to help maternal health and advance economic mobility, according to the Mayor’s office.

Martha’s Table, a local nonprofit, will be implementing the program. The nonprofit will provide $900 per month for a year to 132 new or expectant mothers in Wards 5, 7 and 8.

“Having a newborn is a big life change, and we also know how critical those first months and years are to a baby’s life. This program is about supporting new and expectant moms with cash so that they can have the autonomy and flexibility to make the best choices for them and their baby,” said Mayor Bowser. “The Strong Families, Strong Future DC pilot builds on the work we’ve done to address disparities in maternal health outcomes, make high-quality child care more affordable and accessible, and ensure women are at the heart of our equitable economic recovery strategy.” 

“Welcoming a newborn is a cause for celebration. This direct cash assistance will mean that families can focus on bonding with their young child without being bogged down by the financial stress that often accompanies the first year of life,” said Kim R. Ford, President & CEO of Martha’s Table. “Martha’s Table is proud to partner with DMPED to invest in strong children and strong families in DC.” 

“Women and mothers have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and even before that,” said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio. “New mothers face challenges and high financial responsibilities. That is why we want to provide this economic assistance that can support them to overcome these obstacles.”

The Strong Families, Strong Future DC program will launch in February 2022.  For more information on program updates click here.