Monthly Archives: December 2014

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.

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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.”

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Middletown Press Middlesex United Way: A year in review, and thank you

by Kevin Wilhelm 12/26/2014 

In 2014, Connecticut United Ways also released the ALICE Report on financial hardship in Connecticut. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

The report revealed that 20 percent of Middlesex County families earn above the federal poverty threshold but are still unable to afford the basics. The federal poverty threshold for a family of four is about $24,000, yet this does not even begin to reflect the cost of living in Connecticut.

The minimum cost of basic necessities like housing, food, health care, childcare, and transportation will run a family of four $64,689 a year, yet 51 percent of all Connecticut jobs pay less than $20 an hour — or slightly more than $40,000 annually.

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Citizen’s News: United Way brings ALICE to forefront

by Elio Gugliotti 12/13/2014 

The United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls is looking out for ALICE in a new initiative.

ALICE isn’t a specific person, but rather a specific group of people. It’s an acronym for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed — people who are working and make too much money to qualify for federal assistance programs, but not enough to pay for basic needs.

“It’s important to focus on this segment of the population because the resources are limited. … If you fall in that ALICE — where you’re making money but not enough — something’s going to have to give,” United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls Executive Director Lisa Shappy said.

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Connecticut Health I-Team ALICEs: Many Working, But Struggling To Get By

by Susan Campbell 12/9/2014 

Have you met Connecticut’s ALICEs? Chances are, you have. ALICE could be the man who counts change for you in the drive-through, or the woman who drives your child’s bus to school.

Recently, Connecticut’s United Ways released a report on the state’s ALICEs – or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed residents. The report included some stark numbers, including this one: Thirty-five percent of Connecticut workers – or 474,445 households – cannot afford basics such as food, transportation, health care and housing.

“At the 16 United Ways across the state, we get a good perspective of what’s going on,” said Richard J. Porth, United Way of Connecticut’s president and CEO. “One observation we have been making in recent months and years is a growing need among working people, middle-class people who work hard but still struggle to get by.”

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Valley Independent Sentinel People Are Still Struggling To Get By, Especially In Ansonia And Derby

by Eugene Driscoll 12/9/2014 

You’re putting off the roof repairs, hoping for a good check come tax return time.

The mechanic says your car needs a timing belt, but you’re still paying the credit card bill from the brake jobs over the summer for you and your wife.

Christmas is here, but your gift list is being choked to death by the letters from the hospital asking for the co-pay on the trip your little one took to the emergency room a few months back.

Your credit cards are maxed.

And while your income has flat-lined, your town’s tax bills grow every July like the creeping crud.

You’re not alone.

In fact, you’re just one of 332,817 households in Connecticut — 25 percent — struggling to pay for necessities such as housing, health care and food. Meanwhile, your salary doesn’t keep up with the cost of living.

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Easton Courier Help ALICE


This fall Connecticut United Way released the first statewide ALICE Report, a data-driven, comprehensive research project that quantifies the situation confronting many low-income working families across the state in urban, suburban and rural communities.

ALICE — a United Way acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed — is an often overlooked population composed of men and women of all ages and races who work hard but still face financial hardship.

The report documents that the number of Connecticut households unable to afford all of life’s basic necessities far exceeds the official federal poverty statistics. In Connecticut, 25% of all households have earnings above the federal poverty level but below a basic cost-of-living threshold defined in the United Way ALICE Report. Together with the 10% of households below the poverty level, 35% of all Connecticut households are struggling to make ends meet.

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WHPX-TV For the Record with Shawn Murphy

Richard Porth (President and CEO of United Way of Connecticut) speaks with Shawn Murphy about the ALICE Report.