ALICE in the News

More residents above poverty line can’t cover basic costs in CT, report says

By Mackenzie Rigg September 2, 2018 Each night, Elizabeth Yates helps her 2-year-old son Tommy brush his tiny teeth, reads him his favorite books, and then tucks the strawberry blonde toddler into bed. Many nights, Yates has to later scoop her sleeping son out of bed, put him in his carseat, and drive him to his babysitter’s home. She does this because she has to go to work. Yates, who lives in Stamford, works the overnight shift, 11 p.m. to 11 a.m., as a master control operator at a digital media company. She spends her work hours watching multiple screens to make sure different television networks are functioning properly. And she always works overtime, bringing her typical work week to 60 hours. “I try to… Read MoreMore residents above poverty line can’t cover basic costs in CT, report says »

Residents Struggle With Basic Household Survival

September 2, 2018 The ALICE Report recommends both short-term and long-term strategies to help ALICE families and strengthen our communities. Connecticut’s United Ways are responding to provide a hand up for ALICE households through a number of these short-term and long-term strategies. Connecticut’s United Ways are helping working families to increase their financial security by building a life-long habit of saving. United Ways are promoting SaverLife Connecticut, which combines a goal-based savings incentive program digital financial coaching and online resources. United Ways are working to help ALICE families build their assets and savings by supporting tax preparation at VITA sites where eligible families can secure tax credits (EITC, CTC) and begin saving, and through financial education and budget coaching. United Ways advocate for long-term policy… Read MoreResidents Struggle With Basic Household Survival »

New Report: 4 out of 10 Families in Connecticut Struggle to Pay for Basic Needs

September 2, 2018 According to the 2018 ALICE Report for Connecticut, 40% of households in our state have income which falls below what is needed to pay for basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, technology, and transportation. ALICE, stands for – Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed. United Ways in Connecticut and seventeen other states are promoting the ALICE initiative to place a spotlight on a large population of residents who are working, but have difficulty affording a basic Household Survival Budget. The new ALICE Report uses data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey to quantify the number of households in Connecticut’s workforce that are struggling financially. The new ALICE Report on financial hardship takes… Read MoreNew Report: 4 out of 10 Families in Connecticut Struggle to Pay for Basic Needs »

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… Read MoreUnited Way report details financial hardships faced by Connecticut workers »

Report: Many Connecticut Households can’t pay for basic needs

September 2, 2018 In Connecticut, almost half of households do not have the savings to cover three months of living expenses, risking a real financial spiral in the event of a typical family emergency (illness, car breakdown, appliance replacement, etc.). In addition, the new ALICE Report reveals the following trends: Differences in financial security by age, race, and ethnicity persist, creating challenges for ALICE families. The growth in the “gig” economy and on-demand employment is shifting more financial risk to workers and ALICE households. ALICE families are more vulnerable to an unexpected emergency, because it is becoming more difficult to save and build assets. The changing composition of households are part of the ALICE story. The wealth-health gap in America leads to health insecurity. And… Read MoreReport: Many Connecticut Households can’t pay for basic needs »

United Way report shows more residents financially on the edge

By Kristina Tedeschi Wayne September 1, 2018 The ALICE acronym stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained yet Employed, and the growing numbers are largely due to a climbing cost of living here in Connecticut, said Richard J. Porth, president and CEO of United Way Connecticut. While Connecticut workers earn the highest median income when compared to the 17 other states that participate in the ALICE Project, he said, the cost of living here is also the highest. “The real story in Connecticut is our cost of living,” Porth said. “That’s the biggest part of it.” The report found the cost of a budget for a family of four increased by 23 percent in just six years, from 2010 to 2016. It also found the annual… Read MoreUnited Way report shows more residents financially on the edge »

Report: CT’s cost of living too high for 40% of households

By Joe Cooper August 27, 2018 Connecticut’s high costs of living are taking a major bite out of family earnings. A new report says 40 percent of Connecticut households are earning less than what is needed to run a family: housing, health care, food, child care, technology and transportation. The Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) report by Connecticut United Ways says 30 percent of families (404,035) earn more than the federal poverty line but under a basic cost-of-living threshold. These households are known as ALICE. Including households living in poverty, 40 percent (538,529) of Connecticut families are unable to afford housing, food, health care, child care, technology and transportation, according to the report, which draws from the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey.… Read MoreReport: CT’s cost of living too high for 40% of households »

United Way column: Even those who are working can be financially vulnerable

By Virginia Mason August 17, 2018 ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. It is a project of United Ways in a growing number of states: Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Connecticut was one of the first three states to join the pilot project started in Morris County, New Jersey. From a start-up effort of the United Way of Northern New Jersey, it has grown a network of over 450 United Ways and a national effort of 15 states. Shortly, a new Connecticut research report on the progress being made will be released. The exhaustive report of 2017 on the consequences of insufficient income was designed to… Read MoreUnited Way column: Even those who are working can be financially vulnerable »

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 »