Many organizations focus on supporting those individuals and families who have hit bottom. Is there a better way? Can we help these individuals regain their footing before they slipped over the edge? Can we prevent people from losing the means to survive and thrive?
To achieve significant community impact we must first understand the population of families working hard, but falling short. United Way commissioned the ALICE Report to unite our community around strategies that lead to a more stable and prosperous Florida.
ALICE refers to the population in our community who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The ALICE Population represents those among us who are working whose salaries do not match Martin County's cost of living. They are educated, hardworking and striving to create a better life for themselves and their families. Basic costs like housing, food and gas have increased through the recession. However, wages for existing jobs have not increased and new jobs are starting even lower. More people are living paycheck to paycheck where one car repair or medical bill can tip them over into financial crisis.
The ALICE Report shows 41% of Martin County households are considered to be in the ALICE Population or already in poverty. These are our neighbors, families and co-workers and their work supports all of us. They care for our children, serve our meals and keep the office functioning. Despite working, often at more than one job, the ALICE Population earns too little for a sustainable lifestyle. An increasing number are not making it and we all feel the consequences.
United Way has long worked with the ALICE population to help build better lives. The Report will clarify the complex challenges they face and provide us with invaluable information for building even better solutions focused on improving their lives and the community.
- Raising awareness that the ALICE population exists and is essential to Florida’s economy.
- Utilizing data to evaluate programs, policies and systems that make it easier for ALICE to access opportunities to work hard and sustainably provide for their families and future.
- Collaborating with businesses, governments and community groups to identify and advocate for solutions addressing the underlying issues that hold our families, schools, businesses and communities back from the bright future our Sunshine State deserves.
- Florida’s United Ways are joining together in a unified effort to advocate for State and Federal legislative issues of critical importance to the communities they serve throughout the state.