United Way report details financial hardships faced by Connecticut workers

By Claire Bessette September 2, 2018

In Connecticut, 40 percent of households struggled to meet basic costs of living in 2016, and most did not have enough savings to handle a fiscal crisis such as a layoff, car repair or illness, a study released Sunday by Connecticut United Ways said.

Richard Porth, CEO of United Way Connecticut, said officials want to introduce ALICE to the state’s residents, employers and service providers to find ways to address the problems faced by working families.

“We want to shine a light on people and families,” Porth said during a recent telephone press conference. “Traditionally, the federal poverty level has been used sort of as a measure but I think there is a growing realization that it is not an accurate way of measuring financial hardship.”

United Ways support programs that provide free income tax filing assistance to families, provide financial management coaches and even matching grants to families who commit to saving money for housing, education or transportation.

“Each United Way locally is doing something a little bit different to address ALICE,” said Virginia Mason, president and CEO of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut.

The study showed that to meet a “household survival budget” in Connecticut in 2016, a single adult needed an annual income of $24,672, an hourly wage of $12.34. A family of four — two adults, an infant and a preschool child — needed an income of $77,832, or $6,486 per month, an hourly wage of $38.92

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