Monthly Archives: November 2016

A picture of working poverty in Greenwich

By Ken Borsuk November 21, 2016

The realities of living in Greenwich while struggling to stay above the poverty line were brought into stark focus on Monday morning at a special presentation by the Greenwich United Way. The meeting put the spotlight on people who are classified as asset limited, income constrained but employed, which is given the acronym ALICE. They have jobs but face major challenges paying for basic necessities like food, shelter, transportation and health care and are above eligibility guidelines for many state subsidies. “They are really struggling and making tough choices every day,” Greenwich United Way President and CEO David Rabin said. “And you might ask, well who is ALICE? Well ALICE are the folks you see every day. They’re our cashiers. They’re our bank tellers. They’re the people who are the backbone of our community really.” The income level for an ALICE family of four is $72,000 a year. Rabin said the number of people classified as ALICE is up to 15 percent of the town, equaling 3,368 residents, a rise from 12 percent in 2014. When added to the 5 percent in town living at the poverty level, that equals 20 percent of the town struggling to get by every month.

Continue reading: Greenwich Time


Greenwich United Way invites community to learn about poverty

By David Ken Borsuk November 20, 2016

The Greenwich community is expected to get a closer look at just how much some are struggling as part of a Monday presentation. In May, the United Way unveiled its latest needs assessment of Greenwich, showing that 5 percent of residents — nearly 3,100 people — are living under the federal poverty level. ALICE refers to “asset limited, income constrained and employed.” It describes residents who have jobs and are bringing in an income but are still at the poverty level. According to David Rabin, the Greenwich United Way’s president and CEO, 15 percent of Greenwich residents are at the ALICE level up from 12 percent in 2014. “Raising awareness is critical,” Rabin said. “This is what we do at the Greenwich United Way. We discover the needs through our needs assessment. Then we raise awareness. Then we raise funds and we dedicate ourselves to finding solutions. This is our mission and the more people are aware of this, the more we can do to help.” The Nov. 21 program, set for 11 a.m. at Greenwich Library, is designed to show people what living at the ALICE level is like in Greenwich.

Continue reading: Greenwich Time


CT’s Crisis Of The Working Poor

November 11, 2016

The problem affects everyone in the state, rich or poor. Such a massive number of households struggling to tread water means burdens on health care, social services and the economy in general. Of course, a moribund economy is the primary cause, and more high-paying jobs are the obvious solution. The United Way should be commended for its efforts to identify such a key social and economic problem. It’s up to legislators and all state residents to find, and support, solutions.

Continue reading: Hartford Courant


New Food Pantry Provides For Staff, Students at Middlesex Community College

By Shawn R. Beas November 10, 2016

Students and staff at Middlesex Community College have started a food pantry program that provides assistance to the campus community. The Magic Food Bus, a renovated party bus outfitted with shelves of staples like pasta, cereal and peanut butter, began operating shortly after the fall semester started. So far it has distributed food more than 70 times. Professor Judith Felton, who runs the human services program at the college, said the state Board of Regents for Higher Education has encouraged colleges to help their communities fight food insecurity. Felton said the call was specifically intended to address the population known as “ALICE” — asset limited, income constrained and employed — who are living above the poverty line but below a cost-of-living income level.”We know we have many students who are part of the ALICE population, and we have students who are at the poverty level,” Felton said. “We have already seen evidence of [the program] touching lives.”

Continue reading: Hartford Courant


CT’s wealth gap a threat to economy

October 17, 2016

There’s the affluent state in which Connecticut remains one of the wealthiest places in the nation, with an average per-capita income 141 percent above the national level. But there’s also a growing population — 38 percent of the state’s 1.36 million households to be exact — struggling financially, unable to afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, health care and transportation. This resource-strapped population includes households living below the federal poverty level and those living above that level but who still struggle to meet what the United Way calls the average “household survival budget” for a Connecticut family of four, which ranges from $66,168 to $73,716 — more than triple the U.S. family poverty rate of $23,850. United Way has aptly labeled this group ALICE — for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Continue reading: Hartford Business Journal


United Way: New ALICE study includes research from 15 states

By Virgina Mason November 6, 2016

Sixteen United Ways and the United Way of Connecticut collaborated again to issue the 2016 update report on the ALICE Project in Connecticut. The ALICE Project has grown from a pilot program in Morris County, N.J., in 2009 to the entire state of New Jersey in 2012 and now to a national level program, which has become a network of 15 states. Each state is following a framework for understanding and action. Connecticut was part of the first cohort of states to join New Jersey. That group of states also includes Michigan, Indiana, and Florida. Those early states joined New Jersey in 2013.

Continue reading: The Norwich Bulletin


Do You Know ALICE?

November 3, 2016

United Ways across the state recently released an update to the groundbreaking A.L.I.C.E. Report first issued in November 2014. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – a household with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. In 2014, United Ways in Connecticut, along with United Ways in four other states, released state-specific reports to put a face on working families who struggle financially. Two years later United Ways in 15 states are now reporting on ALICE in their states. Since the release of the initial ALICE Report in 2014, there is some good news – 49% of jobs in Connecticut pay less than $20 per hour compared to 51% in the initial report. The not-so-good news is that at $20 per hour, a full-time job grosses about $40,000 per year, which is 57% of the annual income needed for survival by a family of four in our state.

Continue reading: Valley United Way


United Way Looks Ahead

By Michael Gagne October 27, 2016

According to its new ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report, 38 percent of Connecticut households are in financial hardship. That figure includes those households where the total income falls below the federal poverty line and the demographic that the United Way refers to as ALICE. While incomes in those households are above the federal poverty line, it’s still a struggle for those households to make ends meet, as their budgets fall below the state’s basic cost-of-living threshold.

Continue reading: Republican American


United Way Releases ’16 Report

October 26, 2016

According to the study, ALICE families live above the poverty line but earn less than the Household Survival Budget, bare bones budget for basic needs. The report said, “In releasing the ALICE Update Report, we seek to help explain why more families are struggling financially, and to understand what is underneath this challenge, what are the root causes, and what strategies can work to help ALICE families move toward financial security.”

Continue reading: Republican American


Mayors’ Economic Forum, United Way Report: A Picture of Opportunity and Struggle

October 13, 2016

The United Way ALICE Report, in a 2016 update for CT, uses the latest data from 2014 to look at ALICE (an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), households that earn more than the U.S. poverty level … but less than the basic cost of living for their state.

Continue reading: Achieve Hartford