Op-Ed

Middlesex United Way: Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force and ALICE

By Kevin Wilhelm May 26, 2017 The Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force, founded in 2012, is a group made up of like-minded volunteers representing all backgrounds, such as local nonprofits, businesses, faith-based organizations, concerned citizens and community leaders. This past year, the Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force chose the ALICE Report as its 2016 Awareness Campaign. As many of you know, ALICE, a United Way acronym for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed, represents individuals and households who are working but have difficulty affording the necessities of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation. In 2014, Connecticut United Ways and Rutgers University developed the first ALICE report after completing studies on this hidden population. ALICE households in Connecticut make up about 27 percent of all… Read MoreMiddlesex United Way: Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force and ALICE »

Affordable housing: The key to healthy communities

By Lisa Tepper Bates and David Rich April 27, 2017 Expanding Connecticut’s stock of affordable housing is a smart solution to an important problem our state faces. Connecticut is the sixth most expensive state for housing. Nearly 50% of all Connecticut renters (250,000 people) pay more than is affordable (30% of their income) on housing. A growing body of research attests to the fact that safe and stable housing is the fundamental basis for a healthy and productive life. Children do not learn well if they lack a stable home. Adults are less able to be productive, and more likely to be ill, if they lack adequate housing. Our communities pay over and over through our public systems for these negative side effects of a… Read MoreAffordable housing: The key to healthy communities »

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… Read MoreMiddlesex United Way: New EARN savings program available »

Hartford Courant State’s Cost of Living Leaves Many Short

by Susan Dunn 11/23/2014  The American dream is that if you work hard, you can expect to get ahead financially. For most of us, that means you can save money, buy a reliable car, purchase a home if you want, afford quality child care, send your children to college, handle unexpected expenses, pay for your family’s health care and take family vacations. But as John Lennon reportedly said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” That is exactly what happened to my family more than two decades ago. My husband’s business closed, he wanted to go back to school to prepare for a new career, we had three school-age children and a mortgage. I suddenly found that my full-time income qualified… Read MoreHartford Courant State’s Cost of Living Leaves Many Short »