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Meet ALICE

Who is ALICE?

ALICE is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (Retired).  Working hard but struggling to survive. Let’s meet ALICE.

ALICE takes care of your children, works in your office or at your favorite store. ALICE works hard, but cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing in savings. Often, they are forced to make tough financial choices such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent. One unexpected car repair or medical bill can push these financially strapped families over the edge. Making things worse, ALICE households often don't qualify for governmental aid or social service programs!

When we look at the estimate household survival budget for Hunterdon County, we find that ALICE must earn almost $90,000 for a family of four or $28,000 for a single person. You read that right, $90,000 to just barely stay afloat. The hourly rate for the single adult is $14.12, which reveals why there is a strong call for a minimum wage, a living wage, of $15/hour.

 

The Data:

An ALICE family lives just above the poverty level, so they may be less visible in our society. However, when you look at the data, this segment is very real, and a significant part of our society. What ALICE looks like can vary by state, county and even municipality. In fact, based on the data, they could be your neighbor. ALICE could be you!

 

           

 

Let’s look at Hunterdon County. Hunterdon is slightly below the average for our state at 22%, compared to a state wide 28% of the population*. As a comparison, the poverty level is 10% for New Jersey overall, and 5% for Hunterdon County. Digging deeper, we see what ALICE looks like inside our communities.

 

area

households

% alice

alexandra

1,611

12

tewksbury

2,111

13

raritan

8,140

24

holland

1,945

31

lambertville

2,051

33

frenchtown

   641

39

flemington

1,805

40

Not surprisingly, single parents (female head of household) are disproportionally higher than married (45% single female parent vs 10% married) and it is skewed even higher for Hispanics (46%). Additional data and information are available at www.unitedwayalice.org.

What the United Way does to help ALICE

We believe every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive and are a non-partisan voice for this segment of the population. The United Way advocates for ALICE, by shining a light on their plight both on a government level, in the community and where they work. Tax deductions for childcare and higher wages are just two of our proposed solutions. In addition, the United Way of Hunterdon offers financial coaching and Tax Preparation through our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. Securing a bigger tax refund while obtaining free tax preparation puts more money in the hands of ALICE.

So now you know, this is Alice.  

*Source : www.unitedwayalice.org, American Community Survey & the ALICE Threshold 2016 data.