Connecticut United Way has released the first statewide ALICE Report, a 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.
ALICE represents the men and women in Connecticut who get up each day to go to work but who aren’t sure if they’ll be able to pay their bills. ALICE is our co-workers, friends and neighbors. These are people who do essential work that we depend on, and contribute to our community’s well-being.
The reality that Connecticut has a higher percentage of affluent individuals and families than most other states often overshadows the fact that far too many residents face a very different reality — and that far too many of their more well-off neighbors are unaware of how this affects the overall social and economic viability of their communities.
In Shelton, 17% of the population is at or below the ALICE level while 5% is at or below the poverty level.
ALICE lives in every Connecticut community, and may be our neighbors, friends, co-workers, or relatives. We all know and depend on ALICE, and together we can make a difference for ALICE families in our community.
Here are some ways to give, advocate and volunteer for ALICE:
GIVE: Add ALICE to your holiday shopping list.
ADVOCATE: Talk to your friends, family members and community leaders about ALICE. Let them know that success and security for ALICE is critical to ensuring that our communities thrive.
VOLUNTEER: Visit volunteerct.org to be connected with volunteer opportunities in your community, and make a difference for ALICE families.
You can learn more about ALICE in Connecticut and read the full report at www.alice.ctunitedway.org.