Households struggling to make ends meet increases in Connecticut

By Ryan Blessing October 9, 2016

More households in Connecticut are struggling just to make ends meet, according to a new report released today by the United Way.The updated ALICE report says both the number and percentage of households in Connecticut struggling to pay for their most basic needs increased from 2012 to 2014. More than one out of four households in one of the wealthiest states are employed, yet still fall below what is needed to thrive financially, according to the report. ALICE is an acronym for those described as Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed, according to the United Way.

Continue reading:

Editorial: Plight of the working poor

October 9, 2016

We can see the homeless, though some of us may look away. But there is no social reflex for responding to the masses of neighbors who struggle to survive financially every day. A fallout of our long economic crisis is that it now eludes focus. The United Way has spent the last few years trying to put a face on people who live in households above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost-of-living threshold. United Way dubbed them ALICE, a more memorable handle than “Asset-Limited, Income-Constricted Employed.”

Continue reading: Stamford Advocate

Report: Quarter Of State Residents Without Federal Assistance Still Struggling To Get By

By Mara Lee October 9, 2016

United Way has issued its second report — the first came out two years ago — to remind people that there are a substantial number of families with earnings or retirement income above federal poverty level, but barely enough to meet basic necessities. About a quarter of Connecticut households fall into that category, which the United Way calls ALICE, or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. A single person earning up to $22,656 could be in that category, while a family of four, including two children in need of full-time day care, would need $70,788 for a “survival budget,” the report said. Since the census showed the median income for a single mother in Connecticut in 2015 was $41,014, there are plenty of families in this paycheck-to-paycheck life.

Continue reading: Hartford Courant

Housing One of the Top Concerns for ALICE Households

by Richard J. Porth 1/19/2016

Every day people across Connecticut call 2-1-1 to ask for help with housing problems.  In fact, housing-related concerns, including homelessness, represent the #1 service request at 2-1-1.  This is the result in large part of Connecticut’s comparatively high housing costs.  As the Partnership for Strong Communities documents in its “Housing in Connecticut 2015” report, Connecticut is 6th in national ranking of median monthly housing costs.

United Ways in Connecticut recently released a report on financial hardship for hard working people who still struggle to make ends meet – known as ALICE – Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed.  The ALICE Report documents over 276,000 renters in Connecticut with income below the ALICE Household Survival Budget – which quantifies the costs of the five basic essentials of housing, child care, food, health care, and transportation (2012 ACS data).  Yet, the report also indicates that only 175,000 rental units in our state (as of 2013) are affordable to ALICE households and other households below the poverty line.  Clearly, there isn’t enough affordable housing for ALICE and other families in our state.

Our new ALICE update on Housing highlights the cost of housing in Connecticut and the tremendous burden in puts on ALICE families. Thanks to leadership and significant investment by the state government, we are making progress in providing more affordable housing for Connecticut’s ALICE families.

But more needs to be done and more partners, particularly in the private sector, need to be part of the solution.

The Partnership for Strong Communities’ first IForum for 2016 will focus on ALICE and the tough housing choices these hard-working families often face. Gov. Malloy will kick off the IForum series Jan. 27th at The Lyceum in Hartford, Connecticut Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein will underscore affordable housing’s role in fostering individual opportunity and economic growth, and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy George W. Mac McCarthy, a former Ford Foundation vice president and an expert in housing and metropolitan development, will give the keynote address. Please join us and be part of the solution! You can register here.

Cross-posted from the Partnership for Strong Communities blog

Hartford Courant Kudos To Aetna For A Living Wage

by Susan Dunn 1/27/2015 

Kudos to Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini for doing just that in raising the company’s minimum wage to $16 per hour. Connecticut United Ways’ recently released ALICE Report finds that for a single adult, an hourly wage of $10.97 is required just to meet a “survival” budget. Our state minimum wage almost gets us there in 2017, and Aetna has more than gotten its employees on the road to a living wage.

However, for a family of four, the ALICE Report found that an hourly wage of $32.34 is needed to afford the essentials in Connecticut. Aetna’s leadership demonstrates that progress is surely being made, but we still have a long way to go for families in our state.

Continue reading:

Newtown Bee The Minimal Effect Of The Minimum Wage Hike


On the other hand, even when the hourly minimum wage reaches its apex in January 2017, it will still leave workers with their heads barely above the poverty line.

According to a 121-page report issued by United Way of Connecticut this past November, 51 percent of Connecticut wage earners earn less than $20 per hour, or $40,000 a year, full time. Those working poor are what the United Way report called the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, or ALICE population. What is referred to in the ALICE report as the Household Survival Budget suggests that in Newtown, where 15 percent of households fall below the ALICE threshold, a single adult would need to earn at least $10.32 per hour, full time, to afford the essentials of life. A family of four needs full-time employment totaling an hourly wage of $31.80 per hour.

Continue reading:

WPKN-89.5FM Business & Women: w/Fran Pastore

United Way of Western Connecticut CEO Kim Morgan discusses the Connecticut ALICE Report and hard working families struggling to get by.

Stream Online

Newtown Bee Year In Review: Notable Moments Of 2014

by Nancy Crevier 1/3/2015 

United Way of Connecticut released, on November 16, a 121-page, statewide report, documenting Connecticut households struggling to afford living expenses that exceed the official federal poverty level of $11,670 for an individual or $23,850 for a family of four. United Way calls this population ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. In Newtown, it was revealed, one in five people meet these criteria and live with these daily economic challenges.

Continue reading:

Hartford Courant The 25 Most Popular Stories on in 2014

by Ryan Cane and Russell Blair 12/31/2014 

The Courant published thousands of stories this year. Here are the 25 that were read the most on
10. Report: 25 Percent Of Connecticut Households Above Federal Poverty Level But Struggle To Meet Basic Needs
A report from the Connecticut United Ways said that about 25% of the state’s households are above the federal poverty level but have earnings or retirement income that is barely enough to meet basic necessities. The piece followed two local women — a millennial working two jobs and a single mom, who after years of struggling to make ends meet landed a quality job.

Continue reading:

Greenwich-Post Legislators focus on what’s ahead for Greenwich at United Way breakfast

by Ken Borsuk 12/26/2014 

The challenges that people in the state are facing was discussed in a question to Mr. Bocchino. Ms. Urban cited the Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) report from the United Ways of Connecticut, which found that 35% of Connecticut residents fall into that description, meaning they are “working, yet struggling simply to afford basic household necessities.” Ms. Urban said these individuals and families are typically above the poverty line but are “one unanticipated event, like a serious illness, a death in the family, the loss of a job, home or vehicle, away from a major financial crisis.” While noting the lowering unemployment rate and the state’s high minimum wage, which she praised, she said 17% of Greenwich residents fit this description.

“Those numbers are disturbing and staggering,” Mr. Bocchino said. “I think, sadly, we all know one family that is in this demographic, and it’s troublesome. Absolutely the state needs to play a part in this. Over the last several years the cost of living in Connecticut has increased, and Connecticut needs to address these burdensome costs. The highest cost of living has a disproportionate effect on those barely above the poverty level.”

Continue reading: