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UNITED WAY STUDY REVEALS 26% OF HOWARD COUNTY STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET

11/10/2014

Contact: Beth Rattray, 457-6691 or brattray@unitedwayhoco.org
UNITED WAY STUDY REVEALS 26% OF HOWARD COUNTY STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Kokomo, IN, November 10, 2014/Press Release/ -- There is a growing population in our community. We all know them. They care for our elderly parents in the nursing home, they clean our hotel rooms on vacation and they serve us our coffee in our restaurants. These individuals and families are known as ALICE-Assets Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
ALICE represents people of all ages, races and ethnicities who go to work each day and aren’t sure if they can make ends meet. ALICE families earn more than the Federal Poverty Guidelines, but are below a basic survival income to cover housing, food, child care, transportation and healthcare.
The term ALICE was first created in 2009 after a research project done by Rutgers University for the United Way of Morris County New Jersey look a the low-income population in an affluent area of New Jersey. The study was then done for the state of New Jersey showing that 30% of families in the state were ALICE families. In 2013, Indiana along with five other states commissioned Rutgers University to do a report on ALICE. United Way ALICE Reports provide county-by-county, city-level or township-level data and analysis of how many households are struggling, including the obstacles ALICE households face on the road to financial independence.
There are nearly 923,000 Hoosier households unable to afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care and transportation despite working hard according to the United Way ALICE Report released today by Indiana Association of United
Ways.
The ALICE Study of Financial Hardship places a spotlight on hardworking residents who have little or no savings, and are one emergency from falling into poverty. The Report is the most comprehensive depiction of financial need in the state to date, using the latest data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census, Internal Revenue Service and Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The ALICE Report unveils new measures, based on present-day income levels and expenses that quantify the number of working people struggling financially in Indiana, and why.
A total of 570,000 Hoosier households fall into what United Way calls the ALICE population. These are households earning more than the official U.S. poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living. Combined, ALICE and poverty households, account for 37% percent of households in the state. This number is more than double the official poverty rate.
“ALICE is our child care worker, our retail clerk, the CNA who cares for our grandparents, and our delivery driver. When we know who ALICE is, we can think more clearly about the kind of help and support that will make a difference in his or her life,” said Abbie Smith, President of United Way of Howard County.
The United Way ALICE Report reveals:
• More than 1 in 3 Hoosier households cannot afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation, despite working hard.
• In Indiana, 37% of households live below the ALICE threshold – 23% are above
poverty but below the basic cost of living; about 14% live below the federal poverty
level.
• There are over 570,000 ALICE households in Indiana, more than double the official
poverty rate.
• All counties in Indiana have more than 21% of households living below the ALICE
threshold.
In Howard County:
Howard County Poverty Rate: 17%
Howard County Below ALICE Threshold: 26%
City of Kokomo Below ALICE Threshold: 46%
ALICE often is forced to make choices that compromise health and safety in order to make ends meet, putting both ALICE and the wider community at risk of long-term societal and economic repercussions.
Indiana’s United Ways plan to use the ALICE report as an educational tool, creating local conversations about possible responses.
United Way is focused on providing the basic foundation in the areas of education, financial stability and health to help improve the lives of ALICE and those in poverty, for the longterm benefit of the wider community. For more information or to find data about ALICE in local communities, visit http://iauw.org/alice/index.htm, password LiveUnited.
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