Who is ALICE?
We all know ALICE - Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
ALICE families have household incomes above the Federal Poverty Level, but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. The Connecticut Report is a study of financial hardships in our state. ALICE may be your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and represents every race, ethnicity and gender. She lives in every area of our state. ALICE is your nursing assistant, childcare worker, home health aide, car mechanic, security guard, teaching assistant, store clerk, and office assistant – workers essential to every community’s success, but who struggle to survive on what these jobs pay. Give today to benefit the lives of ALICE families in our 40-town region.
June 2016 Update from United Way of Connecticut: Helping ALICE Families Access Good Jobs and Save for the Future
NBC Connecticut's Heidi Voight shares her story about growing up in a household with a single mother of five children and their daily struggles to make ends meet: View here.
Making Tough Choices
Can you survive 30 days? Making Tough Choices is an ALICE simulator, putting you in the shoes of an ALICE household. You'll face obstacles such as affording childcare, finding transportation to work and putting food on the table.
This HBO documentary trailer for Paycheck to Paycheck "tells the moving story of a year in the life of one mother whose daily struggles illuminate the challenges faced by more than 42 million American women and the 28 million children who depend on them."
The updated 2016 Connecticut United Way's ALICE Report reveals:
- In the 40 towns of central and northeastern Connecticut, 29 percent of residents are ALICE.
- The composition of the ALICE population is men and women, young and old, of all races.
- The breakdown of jobs in Connecticut by hourly wage (51 percent of jobs pay more than $20/hour) compared to what it costs to survive for a family of four (2 adults, 1 infant, 1 preschooler) - $70,788.
- Every city and town in Connecticut has ALICE households. More than two-thirds of Connecticut’s cities and towns have at least one in five households that fit the ALICE definition for financial hardship.
The financial hardships that ALICE faces affect the overall social and economic stability of our communities. Our United Way's catchment area statistics can be downloaded below.
United Way and our Partners Help All Families
United Way wanted to understand why many hard working people still struggle financially. We wanted to understand how this struggle affected their lives and limited their opportunities and choices. Finally, we wanted an objective, research-based look at how this financial hardship impacted our community as a whole.
What is our United Way Doing to Help ALICE Families?
We raise awareness about ALICE and the need to help ALICE become and stay financially secure. We invest in programs and initiatives that help stabilize ALICE families now and in the future. This includes childcare and early-learning, financial security, and basic needs programs.
Some of Our 40-Town Results from 2015
- 2,550 children in quality early childhood education programs gained skills needed to succeed in kindergarten, such as counting and literacy skills
- More than 4,800 youth improved skills needed for academic success
- 3,300 youth did improved their academic performance because of their participation in after-school programs
- Nearly 11,000 filers received $28.4 million in federal refunds and credits through free tax preparation and help from 300 IRS-certified volunteers
- More than 23,500 people received basic food assistance
- More than 3,000 people received emergency shelter
- More than 4,900 people were connected to benefits they’re eligible for, such as SNAP, WIC, childcare subsidies and healthcare, helping them better make ends meet
- Nearly 50 people participated in United Way Volunteer Budget Coaching. All participants said that they learned better money management skills and 61 percent reduced debt
- Nearly 550 people were able to secure employment because of job training
What Does the 2016 ALICE Report Tell Us?
There is significantly greater need than the typical portrait painted of Connecticut, with its high median income and low poverty rates.
|Housing||$558 - $749||$938 - $1,170|
|Child Care||$0||$1,517 - $1,644|
|Miscellaneous||$148 - $173||$544|
|Monthly Total||$1,623 - $1,902||$5,514 - $6,061|
|Annual Total||$19,476 - $22,824||$66,168 - $72,732|
|Hourly Wage||$9.74 - $11.41||$33.08 - $36.37|
What is Household Survival Budget?
The Household Survival Budget uses the minimum cost option for each of the five basic necessities – Housing, Child Care, Food, Transportation and Health Care – to develop a monthly budget that covers the essentials plus taxes and a 10% miscellaneous contingency. It is a conservativeestimate of the monthly costs to get by, and does not account for savings or large emergency expenses.
All in all, Child Care is the single largest
expense for an ALICE family of four, making up 28 percent of the Household Survival Budget.