City of St. Louis Partners with FORWARD to Administer $5 Million Guaranteed Basic Income Program

The City of St. Louis committed $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to combat systemic poverty and drive social and economic upward mobility for the most vulnerable St. Louis community members through the  St. Louis Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) Program. The City of St. Louis is partnering with FORWARD, an end-to-end program administration solution for local governments, to design and implement an equitable and accessible program. The City is also partnering with MoCaFi to distribute prepaid cards and the Washington University in St. Louis to conduct a study on the outcomes of the program.

Transforming Lives Through Financial Empowerment

The St. Louis GBI Program aims to provide a financial safety net and empower individuals to invest in education, small businesses, or other opportunities that may have been financially out of reach. It’s part of a comprehensive strategy to improve community well-being and evaluate direct cash transfers as a social policy tool.

“St. Louis is proud to partner with FORWARD to empower our families financially. We are dedicated to investing in the community and providing an easy, safe, and quick application process.”

~Tishaura O. Jones, Mayor of the City of St. Louis 

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the St. Louis GBI Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be the parent or legal guardian of a youth (under 18) enrolled in a SLPS or St. Louis City Charter School.
  • Reside within St. Louis city limits.
  • Have experienced a negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The total income of all household members must be less than 170% of the federal poverty level.

A Multilingual Application Process for Greater Accessibility

The City of St. Louis has approved FORWARD as the program administration contractor, ensuring efficient community outreach, application support, eligibility screening, and award distribution. When applying through FORWARD’s online application portal, applicants can expect the following benefits:

  • A user-friendly online application available in 68 languages
  • Access to application support through FORWARD’s multilingual call center via phone, text, and email

“At FORWARD, we’re committed to creating a user-friendly application process for communities. Our team worked closely with the City of St. Louis to ensure the application process is equitable and accessible for the most underserved St. Louis communities.”

 ~ Adnan Mahmud, CEO of FORWARD Platform


FORWARD is thrilled to partner with the City of St. Louis to administer the St. Louis Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) Program, in collaboration with MoCaFi and the University of Washington, St. Louis. Previously, the City of St. Louis has partnered with FORWARD to administer the St. Louis Rental Assistance Program and St. Louis Project R&R. Through human-centered technology, FORWARD has developed a customized solution to equitably administer the St. Louis GBI Program to meet the unique needs of St. Louis’ most vulnerable communities.

Learn more about St. Louis Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) Program

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