Living paycheck to paycheck while hovering just above the poverty line is the reality for 44 percent of families in Madison County, according to a report from The United Way’s ALICE Project. ALICE is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
Could you support your family on less than $25,000 a year? For nearly half of the families in our community, the question isn't a hypothetical, it's their reality. It may be a reality for you. They are ALICE.
$25,000 is far less than the bare minimum annual family income of $54,500 that is needed to cover basic bills for a family of four. Many of these families work one or more jobs earning low wages. Daily choices often include decisions like "should I pay my utility bill or put food on the table?". Families in this reality live paycheck-to-paycheck and are unable to set aside money to buy a house, invest in education for themselves or their children. There is little hope for a different future.
ALICE works hard for a wage that makes it difficult to provide for their families. Earning just above the poverty line, they are disqualified from receiving many kinds of assistance like childcare vouchers and SNAP food benefits. Assistance that they need to make ends meet. To add to that, their lack of a living wage makes it almost impossible to save money for emergencies, putting them one crisis away from losing everything.
There’s a good chance you have a friend, acquaintance or neighbor that might fall into the ALICE statistics and not even know it. They are hard working individuals who don’t ask for help, sometimes because they don’t even realize that they need it.
We need your help in helping ALICE families in Madison County. You can support this important work by making a donation today.
If you would like to view the ALICE Report for Madison County, click here.