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New United Way ALICE report details struggles of working families in Connecticut

By Cassandra Day September 4, 2018

According to the 2018 Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed Report for Connecticut, 40 percent (or 538,529) of Connecticut households — four out of 10 families — have income which falls below what is needed to pay for basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, technology and transportation.

“Whenever we formally or informally raise the ALICE report in any kind of public setting, whether it’s at a specific workplace or forums on the shoreline, when you start to describe what ALICE is, people in the room or either totally ALICE or have been, or know people that are. It touches, or has touched, almost everyone,” said Kevin Wilhelm, president and CEO of the Middletown-based Middlesex United Way.

Ed Bonilla, vice president of community impact, has spent the last year or so talking to people on the shoreline about ALICE figures and holding forums in each town. Bonilla’s presentations offer sobering statistics.

“I tell people, ‘Did you go to your local coffee shop and get a coffee this morning — Dunkin’ Donuts or a convenience store?’ Most likely those folks are ALICE. We interact with them every day because they’re the ones that make our community run,” such as home health aides and child care workers.

The estimates in this third two-year study are conservative ones, said Wilhelm, who said the percentage of families in the ALICE group is increasing.

“We can’t distinguish at this point is it increasing because there are more of them or is it increasing because the survival budget is based upon actual estimates of the cost for each region. It’s very local and very custom,” he said.

Among the number of families living in the Middlesex United Way service area, 7 percent, or 4,693, are living under poverty conditions, and 25 percent, or 16,834, are ALICE. Sixty-eight percent of families, or 44,940, live above the ALICE line in this area.

Continue reading: New Haven Register