Monthly Archives: April 2017

Free Money, Enrichment Scholarships Offered To Newtown ALICE Families

By John Voket April 4, 2017

Are you living in a Newtown ALICE household? If so, Newtown Social Services may have some free money for you. ALICE, as identified by United Way agencies, is Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — basically a paycheck to paycheck household that may be one major car repair, illness, or other family crisis away from financial trouble. By technical definition, ALICE is a way of defining and understanding our families, neighbors, and colleagues (men and women) who work hard, earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care.

The United Way ALICE Project is a collaborative effort to improve the lives of vulnerable, low-income ALICE households. Based on the overwhelming success of the research in identifying and communicating the needs of ALICE households, the project has grown from a pilot in Morris County, N.J., in 2007, to the entire state of New Jersey in 2012, and to the national level in 2014 with reports in six states representing one-quarter of the US population.

The partners in this grassroots effort are working together to give ALICE a national voice. By sharing common language and understanding, stakeholders are better equipped to tackle crucial issues for ALICE and the wider community.

Continue reading The Newtown Bee

Middlesex United Way: New EARN savings program available

By Kevin Wilhelm March 31, 2017

They say habits, either good or bad, can be formed in as little time as 30 days. At Middlesex United Way, we are excited to unveil our new partnership that helps lower-income families develop new savings habits that can last a lifetime. Middlesex United Way, along with other Connecticut United Ways across the state, are partnering with EARN, a San Francisco- based nonprofit organization. The purpose of the new partnership is to continue in our fight to helping the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population by bringing an easy to use, matched savings program.

In 2014, Connecticut United Ways and Rutgers University found that despite their efforts, 25 percent of Connecticut households who earn above the federal poverty line still live under a basic cost-of-living threshold defined in the report. We define these households as ALICE, – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households, combined with those in poverty, comprise 38 percent of Connecticut households, revealing that more than 1 in 3 Connecticut households can’t afford the basics of housing, food, healthcare, childcare, and transportation.

To be defined as ALICE, you must be asset limited. Thirty-nine percent of Connecticut households lack the liquid assets necessary to survive a financial emergency. This means that an unexpected hospital trip or car repairs can have the potential to devastate an ALICE household. Sadly, it is often these unexpected expenses that lead to further financial hardships for these families.

Continue reading: The Middletown Press

Incentive to Save- New program promises reward for families meeting six-month goal

By Rob Ryser March 26, 2017

A new program to help Connecticut working families struggling to make ends meet start savings accounts promises a $60 reward if they save for six months. It may not sound like a lot of money, but it might be just the incentive some families need to start saving, sponsors of the incentive said last week. “If you have a savings account and you have a flat tire or dental emergency or a thousand other things, you can pay for it,” said Shana Beal, director of communications for EARN, a nonprofit that has teamed up with Connecticut United Ways to launch the savings initiative statewide.

The initiative is part of the United Way of Connecticut’s response to a special category of working families who earn more than the federal poverty limit of $24,000, but less than the $70,000 to afford housing, food, child care, health care and transportation. Known by the acronym ALICE, for asset-limited, income constrained and employed, the families represent 27 percent of the state population, United Way said.

Continue reading: The News-Times